Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Local scientists may be on to something that could lead to reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
For the first time ever, Battelle researchers based at Pacific Northwest National Labratory are injecting carbon dioxcide into lava rocks below the earth's surface.
Battelle researchers, along with Boise reps and members of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership are thrilled that more than a decade of research is finally beginnging to pay off.
The CO2 is being injected half a mile below ground into basalt formations in order to permanently store the greenhouse gas.
Scientists say they have conducted a number of lab tests over the last few years and found by injecting the CO2 into basalts, that within a few weeks, it forms into carbonate minerals or solid rock, making it the safest and most permanent way to store it.
Researchers estimate there is potentially 300 years of storage in basalts and they say this could solve a lot of future environmental problems all over the world.
The injections have worked in the lab and now they want to make sure they work on a much larger scale.
Scientists began the injections last week, they plan to continue over the next year.
Every few weeks, they will take rock samples to make sure the CO2 is being stored correctly and there are no leaks.
So far researchers have injected 350 metric tons of CO2, averaging about 40 metric tons a day in order to avoid overpressureizing and the goal for testing is to inject nearly 1,000 metric tons of CO2 into basalts below the surface.
To date, approximately $12,000 has been commited to the project.