The first container with 20 tons of CO2 from Switzerland now reached Iceland. In Iceland, a total of 1'000 tons are going to be injected into a geological reservoir with the aim of generating negative emissions. DemoUpCARMA aims to identify and investigate all aspects that are decisive for the feasibility and scalability of establishing such a CO2 transport chain.
The first twenty of the total 1’000 tons arrived today in Iceland, where they will be stored in the underground. A total of fifty transports will be made. The CO2 comes from the ARA Bern biogas plant. It is therefore biogenic CO2, produced by the decay of organic materials that had previously absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere. If this CO2 is permanently removed from the atmosphere, it is considered as negative emissions. DemoUpCARMA is a pilot project and, among other things, investigates the feasibility of such a CO2 transport chain in a comprehensive manner. DemoUpCARMA intends to explore what it takes to store CO2. The findings shall support climate policy decisions.
CO2 transport and storage under the scientific microscope
With the first successful transport, an important milestone has been reached for the project, which will run until the end of 2024: "Many people ask themselves whether such a transport is justifiable at all, i.e. whether it is economical and does not negatively impact the environment. Our project is important to examine such a transport chain in a ’real life laboratory‘ and to provide answers to precisely these questions using scientific methods", says Viola Becattini, project manager of DemoUpCARMA.
The transport chain is composed of a total of five stages: After the container is filled with CO2 from the ARA Bern, it is brought to the cargo station in Weil am Rhein. There, the container switches to rail and travels by freight train to the port of Rotterdam (Netherlands). The longest leg of the journey is by ship from Rotterdam to Reykjavik (Iceland). From the port in Reykjavik, it travels by truck to the plant in Helguvík, where the CO2 will be injected into a basaltic rock formation by the Icelandic company Carbfix for mineralization and permanent storage, via a technique they have been using for about ten years.
Monitoring of the geological deposit
In addition to transport and the associated requirements, DemoUpCARMA and in particular its partner project DemoUpStorage are also investigating the storage of Swiss CO2 in the Icelandic subsurface. The Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich is supporting the Icelandic company Carbfix in monitoring the geological storage site over a period of two years. The aim is to examine in detail how the subsurface reacts to the injection of the CO2 and how it mineralizes in the basaltic rock there.
Thus, DemoUpCARMA and its partner project DemoUpStorage are exploring the entire path from CO2 capture to storage in order to identify the framework conditions needed to implement such CO2 management solutions.