Saturday, November 15, 2008

Carbon Eater

Interesting Economist article on peridotite, which has a voracious appetite for carbon. Two Columbia geologists have been studying peridotite in Oman and the upshot is:

"The team has shown that the Omani peridotite absorbs tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, far more than anyone had thought. By drilling and fracturing the rock they believe they can start a process to increase the absorption rate by 100,000 times or more. They estimate this would allow the Omani outcrop, which extends down some 5km, alone to absorb some 4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, which is a substantial part of the annual 30 billion or so tonnes of the gas that humans send into the atmosphere, mostly by burning fossil fuels."