World's First 'Negative Emissions' Power Plant Goes Online

Turning pollution into stone

Oct 19, 2017
Direct air capture unit along with the cooling towers of the geothermal power plant in Hellisheidi, Iceland.

Direct air capture unit along with the cooling towers of the geothermal power plant in Hellisheidi, Iceland. (Climeworks/Zev Starr-Tambor)

Last week, Reykjavik Energy proudly announced the first negative emissions plant in the world. Located at the Hellisheidi Power Plant, the CarbFix2 project captures CO2 directly from ambient air.

The CO2 then dissolves it in water and then pumps it into an injection site near the facility, where the CO2 reacts with basaltic bedrock, forming solid carbonate minerals. Just like naturally forming carbon deposits, the captured CO2 should remain locked away for many millions of years, if not billions.

Basalt layers needed to house the CO2 are relatively common, so it might be relatively easy to set up more negative emissions plants around the world.

The Hellsheidi plant capture system is still only an experiment, and the 50 metric tons of CO2 it'll capture per year won't yet make a big difference, but once the concept proves to be viable, the project has the potential to put a major dent in global warming and can even provide eco-friendly construction materials.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Renewable Energy Is Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels
11 Houseplants That Clean the Air You Breathe
9 Awesome Socks That Support Some Amazing Causes

DAVID RUHM, EDITOR & WRITER
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.

ADD A COMMENT