Icelandic startup turns carbon dioxide into stone

Icelandic startup Carbfix is the world’s first CO2 mineral storage operator, permanently sequestering CO2 by mixing it with water and injecting into basalt rock.



“So Carbfix has developed a technology that mitigates climate change. What we do is we take CO2 that’s been captured either from point-source emissions like power plants or industrial production or directly from the atmosphere, we take the CO2 we dissolve it in water, create sparkling water, which you can drink. And this we inject into the subsurface into specific geologic formation and there by natural processes, the CO2 turns to stone and becomes part of the bedrock forever.”

“It is to mitigate climate change. It’s very clear that we have a huge task in front of us, and we’re not approaching our goals at the speed we need to, to reduce temperature increase on our planet. One of the critical action items among a number of others of course, is to implement carbon capture and storage and this is a new technology to do that.”

“Iceland is a good place to develop and implement the technology because more or less all of Iceland is made up of basalt and the basalts that we have here are younger than in many other parts of the world because Iceland is a volcanic island, meaning that the formations we have here are younger than in many other places of the world. And therefore, the basalt here are in some cases more porous and more permeable, meaning that there is sort of more space in it that we can fill up with the minerals and in some cases we can also expect faster mineralisation trapping in the subsurface.”

“These mechanisms that transform CO2 into stone, it’s actually nature’s way of permanently storing CO2. The rocks beneath our feet actually contain over 99 percent of all carbon that exists on Earth. It’s only the remaining less than 1 percent that we have in the vegetation, dissolved in the ocean, in the trees and the soil and of course, too much of it in the atmosphere but still, it’s only less than 1 percent of all carbon that we find on Earth. Mineralising it in the subsurface through weathering processes, this is how nature, over geologic timescales, regulates CO2 levels in the atmosphere.”