Ken Silverstein, Contributor
If coal is to come up for air, the technologies to capture and bury carbon must materialize. While progress is being made, an analysis by a leading university reveals that the earth’s belly can’t stomach as much carbon dioxide as previously thought.
Researchers at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT have discovered that only a “small fraction” of the carbon dioxide solidifies and turns into rock after it is injected 7,000 feet below the earth’s surface. The rest, it adds, remains in a more “tenuous form.” If the carbon is stored in deep aquifers where large pockets of brine exist, then it can solidify. However, the team found that this solidification creates a wall that prevents the bulk of the carbon dioxide from reacting with the brine.