Iceland makes big steps in the industry of clean energy, as its strategy goes beyond recycling. The new technique embraced by one of the biggest geothermal power plants in the world avoids pollution by making sure no extra carbon dioxide is released. More precisely, what it does is to get rid of the carbon, as it removes the substance from the atmosphere and turns it into stone.
The power plant traps carbon dioxide and releases clean air
This unusual attempt is the result of a collaboration between Climeworks and Reykjavik Energy, and aims to further develop the first facility which captures carbon from the atmosphere. A similar attempt was first launched in Switzerland this summer, and is also operated by Climeworks.
The Icelandic facility is Hellisheidi, which is basically a geothermal power plant which extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Then, all this substance sent into a filter where it gets heated. This causes it to remain trapped into the filter, while clean air is released back into the atmosphere.
The carbon dioxide is turned into minerals
However, this carbon dioxide is not wasted. The power plant uses water to dissolve the gas, and then send it deep underground. Down there, the high amount of rock reacts with the carbon dioxide, resulting different types of minerals. In fact, what the power plant does is to simulate the natural process of rock formation, but it also speeds it up to only a few years, as compared to several centuries.
The power plant is equipped with collectors of various capacities, ranging to 135 kilograms to 4.9 tons in a day. This is the first facility of the type which doesn’t only store carbon dioxide, but also makes use of it so it doesn’t get wasted or turn into a pollutant. The aim of the facility is to come to capture one percent of all carbon emissions by the end of 2025.
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