Today, mines and industry generate some 2 billion tons of alkaline solid wastes every year, and more than 90 billion tons are stored behind fragile dams and heaped in waste piles, a threat to people and ecosystems. Unlike other schemes for drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere, reactive rocks can both capture the gas and store it, locked away permanently in a solid mineral.
“The potential is real,” Dipple says. “It will make an important contribution to lowering CO2.” If he and others can make the scheme practical, it could address two environmental problems at once.
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