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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 22;105(29):9920-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0804397105. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Carbon dioxide sequestration in deep-sea basalt.

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  • 1Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964, USA.


Developing a method for secure sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in geological formations is one of our most pressing global scientific problems. Injection into deep-sea basalt formations provides unique and significant advantages over other potential geological storage options, including (i) vast reservoir capacities sufficient to accommodate centuries-long U.S. production of fossil fuel CO2 at locations within pipeline distances to populated areas and CO2 sources along the U.S. west coast; (ii) sufficiently closed water-rock circulation pathways for the chemical reaction of CO2 with basalt to produce stable and nontoxic (Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Fe(2+))CO(3) infilling minerals, and (iii) significant risk reduction for post-injection leakage by geological, gravitational, and hydrate-trapping mechanisms. CO2 sequestration in established sediment-covered basalt aquifers on the Juan de Fuca plate offer promising locations to securely accommodate more than a century of future U.S. emissions, warranting energized scientific research, technological assessment, and economic evaluation to establish a viable pilot injection program in the future.

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