Varsha Sivagurunathan

The world’s largest plant designed to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and turn it into rock has started running in Iceland. The plant consists of units made from metal that looks like shipping containers. The current operating capacity for drawing 4000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the air every year, which is emissions from 870 cars.

The carbon capture process works as follows – The plant uses fans to draw air into a collector with a filter material inside. Once the filter is filled with carbon dioxide, the collector is closed. The temperature is raised to release the carbon dioxide from the material after which the concentrated gas can be collected. The carbon dioxide is then mixed with water and injected into a depth of 1000 m into the nearby basalt salt where it is mineralized. The carbon dioxide water mixture turns to stone in two years.

However, the process is prohibitively expensive, costing $10-$15 million to build, and would require additional research to make it cost effective and improve efficiency. But these technologies can become a major tool to fight against climate change.

News Source: The Guardian

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