Opportunities and challenges for CarbFix: An evaluation of capacities and costs for the pilot scale mineralization sequestration project at Hellisheidi, Iceland and beyond

Elisabet Ragnheidardottir, Holmfridur Sigurdardottir, Helga Kristjánsdóttir, William Harvey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Reykjavik Energy, in cooperation with four academic institutions, is testing carbon capture and storage (CCS) through mineral carbonation at the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant. The goal of the work, launched in 2007, is to test in situ sequestration of CO2 and mimic the natural carbon mineralization process that contributes to the global carbon cycle. The Hellisheidi site provides both a suitable basalt storage site as well as a stream of nearly pure CO2 from a parallel pilot project. This paper, drawing from earlier research, aims to re-evaluate the costs associated to the CarbFix method for this specific site. The pilot program, along with its known costs and operations, is scaled to higher flow rates of CO2. The findings indicate that at low CO2 flow rates the project is heavily weighted in capital costs while higher CO2 flow rates are subject to the variable costs such as electricity and water. In light of this, research should continue to assess the water and energy requirements for the system. The CarbFix technology employed elsewhere would undoubtedly encounter large CO2 point sources and will then be sensitive to these variable costs. The profitability assessment, over a 30-year life, shows for the higher flow rates, adequate returns on investment under the existing trading prices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1065-1072
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

    Other keywords

    • Carbon capture and storage
    • Profitability assessment
    • Cost analysis CarbFix
    • Hellisheidi
    • Iceland

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