New solution to curbing climate change? Turning carbon dioxide into stone
In a ground-breaking experiment, Iceland has offered an innovative way to reduce carbon emissions on a global level.
On the site of Hellisheidi Power Station located southwest of Iceland, the first-ever conversion experiment of turning carbon dioxide gas emissions into solid rocks took place, and became a reality instead of theory.
The process starts with ‘direct air capturing’ machines that absorb the surrounding atmosphere using enormous fans and fabric tubes. The captured air is chemically filtered to extract the carbon dioxide and dismisses the absorption of other gases such as nitrogen and oxygen. The solidification begins by sending the carbon dioxide into a large machine for further processing. The concentrated gas is combined with water and injected in the basalt rock. Eventually, the carbon dioxide forms into rocks. The nearby geothermal power plant site sitting at the bottom of a volcano provides the energy for the process.
This project absorbs about 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually which can reduce global emissions. This is equivalent to the emissions of about 870 cars. The solidification of carbon dioxide emissions is vital for tackling the climate change crisis. This has an increased chance of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Scientists around the world argue that operations that reduce the carbon dioxide emission are a necessary step to combating climate change. Modern and innovative forms of technology are major tools in combatting climate change. We need fast and immediate global action. The significance of converting carbon dioxide to rock will not only help reduce air pollution, but it will also reduce the effect it has on human beings, animals, and marine life.
Furthermore, the success of this project would inspire other countries and their leaders to act and invest into these types of operations. Encouraging political leaders to take part in eco-friendly initiatives to create a greener atmosphere is imperative. The positive impact of converting carbon dioxide gas into stones is a non-harmful act and worth the money for developed countries that have the resources to build it—especially those that are the major contributors to the climate crisis.
Moreover, the benefit of this process is that carbon dioxide would be solidified for millions of years until it breaks down and releases back to the environment. This procedure would for a long time suppress the large sum of carbon dioxide from the environment into rocks. The climate change crisis has caused heatwaves, rising sea levels, wildfires and flooding. Scientists urge leaders and the general population to take action by reducing their own carbon dioxide footprint. Now, we can do so on a global scale.
Associate Opinion Editor (Volume 48) — Haya Abu Ghosh is a fourth-year student double majoring in English and Political Science. When I am not doing any school work, I love going out with friends to coffee shops and dining in restaurants to socialize. My passions include but are not limited to reading, writing, sketching, binge-watching Netflix TV shows, taking pictures of nature and talking about politics (do not get me started talking about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Indigenous injustices, Uyghur Muslims in China and many more topics).