CO2 from Switzerland sent to Iceland to be turned into rock

CO2 from Switzerland sent to Iceland to be turned into rock

An environmental project is set to see carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by companies in Switzerland be buried in a unique subsoil in Iceland, which should make the gas solidify, making it harmless. The project could be a breakthrough for scientists battling climate change. 

CO2 project is the first of this scale in Switzerland

While this is not the first time gas has been “mineralised” into rock, it is the first time that it has taken place on such a large scale. The CO2 will be taken from steel mills, cement manufacturers and gas plants and will be transported via road and railway to ships. These ships will then transport the CO2 to Iceland.  

Iceland’s volcanic landscape makes for a unique type of soil that is suitable for the chemical reaction needed to mineralise CO2. According to 20 minuten, if the project is a success other places with volcanic geology could take part in the experiment in future, such as Italy or Brazil. 

Benefit of CO2 removal greater than emissions from transport to Iceland

The extraction and transportation of the gas naturally produces more CO2, but the project's organisers seem unphased by this. Professor Andrea Moscariello from UNIGE told 20 minuten that, while it is true that CO2 is produced by the project, “the benefit of the CO2 removal will be much greater” than the impact of the project. 

As for the risks associated with the project, Moscariello gave assurances that there are very few: “The pressure used to inject carbon dioxide into the geological layers is quite low, it should not break the rock and create significant seismic tremors." Finally, the material resulting from the solidification of CO2 is "harmless to the environment”, the professor added.

Image: lucarista /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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