Ongoing research that began in 2007 in the field of CO2 binding could put Iceland on the map as a leader in the field.
The process of CO2 binding would, in an oversimplified sense, take carbon dioxide from the air and bind it to minerals in the ground. The University of Iceland, Reykjavík Energy and two foreign universities have been studying Iceland’s basalt deposits, which contain copious amounts of carbon dioxide, in an effort to reverse engineer the process.
Carbon binding is, by some estimates, expected to be bigger than the oil industry should the process ever become practical and energy efficient, with numerous industrial applications. As one example, an aluminium smelter emitting CO2 would be able to instead “bury” the gas in the earth, binding it to minerals.