Carbon dioxide captured and liquefied in Switzerland is now being injected underground for permanent mineralization by Carbfix at its existing wells by the geothermal power plant in Hellisheiði, Iceland. Delays in the construction of the new injection facility in Helguvík, which is specifically designed for DemoUpCARMA, CO2SeaStone and DemoUpStorage, required temporary use of Carbfix’s existing wells. Injections at Helguvík are scheduled to start in 2023 after having completed the drilling of the wells and initial seismic monitoring.
Disruptions in global supply chains led to a delayed start of the installation work at the designated injection site in Helguvík, with drilling work still ongoing. In the meantime, the existing injection infrastructure of the Icelandic project partner Carbfix at Hellisheiði will be used to start the injection of Swiss CO2 for permanent mineralization underground. Once the facilities at Helguvík are in place, a novel injection technique using seawater instead of freshwater will be tested. So far, four ISOtainers containing a total 80 tons of CO2 have been delivered to the Hellisheiði site. Once the CO2 has been injected, the ISOtainers will be returned to Switzerland. At ARA Bern, they will be refilled with CO2 and shipped to Iceland.
Established injection process at Hellisheiði
Carbfix developed its mineralization technology at the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant, where it has since 2012, injected more than 80 thousand tons of CO2. The Carbfix process imitates and accelerates a natural process. It requires only CO2, water, and favorable rock formations, with no other elements needed for the mineralization process to take place. The CO2 is captured on site from the nearby geothermal power plant. The mineralization process in the basaltic subsurface has been scientifically confirmed at this location.
Injection of CO2 shipped from Switzerland at the Helguvík site is planned for early 2023, as the drilling work continues. Following the drilling, an initial series of seismic measurements will be carried out before setting up the aboveground injection plant. The focus here is on the application of a new process in which CO2 is dissolved in seawater instead of freshwater before injection into the basaltic subsurface for mineralization.