Researchers are hailing a potential game-changer for climate change after successfully converting carbon to rock at a geothermal power plant in Iceland.
The project could help to reduce global warming by burying the waste CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels, the Guardian reported.
Scientists at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant converted carbon dioxide into the volcanic rock basalt, according to a study published in the journal Science.
The researchers pumped 230 tons of CO2 into rock 500 meters underground, dissolving the gas in water to prevent it from escaping. More than 95 percent of the gas turned to stone within two years, speeding up a natural process that takes hundreds or thousands of years, the Guardian reported.
A potential problem for the technique is that it requires 25 tons of water for every ton of buried CO2. However, researchers said seawater can be used, which is abundant at coastal sites, the Guardian reported.
The project is seen as an improvement on existing carbon capture and storage methods that store CO2 as a gas, causing concern about potential leaks.