Solidified Volcanic Lava And Magma Can Be Used As A CO2 Capture Method, A Study Reveals

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Scientists consider that they could fight against global warming using solidified volcanic lava. It might sound strange but there is a scientific background in this affirmation. Accordingly, the solidified lava and magma might be able to securely accumulate vast volumes of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas blamed for climate change.

When lava is cooled it turns into a black rock known as basalt. The basalt rock presents the perfect chemical properties to capture large amounts of CO2. The very same characteristic is also found in the rock that forms when the magma cools in the Earth’s mantle, the peridotite.

Both these rocks are rich in calcium and magnesium ions which are able to capture CO2 as stable solid carbonate.

While science literature and laboratory observational studies have argued, over the time, that CO2 mineralization can take several thousand years to take place, according to Juerg Matter, the leading author of the study on CO2 capture with basalt and peridotite rocks.

Volcanic lava and magma can capture CO2 and fight global warming

According to Juerg Matter, his study demonstrated that, within two years, all the CO2 released by his research crew during the experiments has been mineralized within the before-mentioned rocks.

As we speak, this project is growing as it gained the support of several European countries. On the other hand, similar experiments are underway in several other regions in the world.

However, the method of capturing CO2 within volcanic rocks has several downsizes such as the yet unknown costs of conducting this procedure on a global scale and the long-term outcome in the conditions in which CO2 emissions will not be reduced to fight the global warming.

Despite all these, the greatest advantage of this procedure would be the omnipresence of the basalt rocks which spans over huge areas of India, the Pacific Northwest, and Iceland. As a matter of fact, basalt is covering far more of the Earth’s surface than any other kind of rocks.


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