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Scientists Take Another Step toward Safely Burying CO2

For the first time, scientists have injected carbon dioxide into ancient lava flows and watched it solidify, demonstrating that capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or a power plant smokestack and safely storing it underground may be a realistic way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change, according to research published Friday. Scientists working at the Wallula Basalt Pilot Project in Washington State turned liquefied carbon dioxide into solid rock by injecting the gas into basalt formations. Over a span of about two years, the carbon dioxide solidified into a mineral called ankerite, according to the study conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers. The research was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. “This study further supports the idea that one of the major rock types on the planet—basalts—can be used to store carbon dioxide permanently and safely,” said study lead author Pete McGrail, a carbon dioxide and climate change researcher at PNNL.