Removing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere may be essential to curb severe climate change. Possible, but expensive, methods include burying the gas underground between rock layers or “scrubbing” the CO2 in power station cooling towers before it is released. James Highfield at A*STAR’s Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, together with coworkers at the National Junior College of Singapore and Åbo Akademi Univ. in Finland, has now described a cheaper and more permanent solution that would prevent the CO2 escaping back into the atmosphere.
Their work focused on using carbon mineralization, a process that involves a reaction between CO2 and minerals, such as magnesium silicates, to form solid carbonates. Mineralization occurs naturally between the atmosphere and rocks, and the carbonates remain geologically stable for millions of years. Crucially, plentiful raw materials would be available to conduct this type of CO2 removal on a vast scale.
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