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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Kevin Burton

Pogge von Strandmann, Philip A. E., Burton, Kevin W., Snæbjörnsdóttir, Sandra O., Sigfússon, Bergur, Aradóttir, Edda S., Gunnarsson, Ingvi, Alfredsson, Helgi A., Mesfin, Kiflom G., Oelkers, Eric H. & Gislason, Sigurður R. (2019). Rapid CO2 mineralisation into calcite at the CarbFix storage site quantified using calcium isotopes. Nature Communications 10(1): 1983.

Author(s) from Durham


The engineered removal of atmospheric CO2 is now considered a key component of mitigating climate warming below 1.5 °C. Mineral carbonation is a potential negative emissions technique that, in the case of Iceland’s CarbFix experiment, precipitates dissolved CO2 as carbonate minerals in basaltic groundwater settings. Here we use calcium (Ca) isotopes in both pre- and post-CO2 injection waters to quantify the amount of carbonate precipitated, and hence CO2 stored. Ca isotope ratios rapidly increase with the pH and calcite saturation state, indicating calcite precipitation. Calculations suggest that up to 93% of dissolved Ca is removed into calcite during certain phases of injection. In total, our results suggest that 165 ± 8.3 t CO2 were precipitated into calcite, an overall carbon storage efficiency of 72 ± 5%. The success of this approach opens the potential for quantification of similar mineral carbonation efforts where drawdown rates cannot be estimated by other means.