Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12258
Experimental Study of Basalt Carbonatization
A Carbon Capture and Storage project (CarbFix) is currently taking place in Iceland at the geothermal power plant Hellisheiði. The CO2 is dissolved in groundwater as it is pumped down to 350 meters depth and then injected into mixed horizons of basaltic glass and crystalline basalt. The basaltic rocks are characterized by high contents of divalent cations like Mg2+, Fe2+ and Ca2+ and relatively fast dissolution rates. The acidic CO2-loaded water will dissolve the basalt thereby releasing cations, which can react with the aqueous carbonate ions to form carbonate minerals (magnesite, siderite, calcite, ankerite and Ca-Mg-Fe solid solutions). The rate-limiting step of this carbon sequestration process is thought to be the dissolution of basaltic rocks, thus any effect that could potentially limit basalt dissolution would be detrimental to the overall CO2 sequestration process. My part of the CarbFix project has been to look at the effects the formation of calcium carbonate coatings would have on the dissolution of the primary phase, in this case basaltic glass and the clinopyroxene diopside, to compare a glass phase with the results of a mineral phase. Furthermore, a series of experiments were conducted where we tested the primary mineral structure’s affect on calcite nucleation. This was done in order to test if different silicate structures would lead to different extent of calcite nucleation and growth. Finally, extensive series were conducted on the dissolution of basaltic glass in the presence of dead and live heterotrophic bacteria, Pseudomonas reactans in order to determine the potential effect of bacteria on the carbon storage effort at the Hellisheiði site.
A joint degree thesis between University of Iceland and Université III Toulouse - Paul Sabatier in France
Note: Thesis defended May 16, 2012 at the University of Iceland