A recycling plant which turns carbon dioxide into Renewable Methanol (RM) is in operation near the Blue Lagoon.
Geothermal power, while cleaner than petroleum-based power, does produce emissions. Among them is carbon dioxide. RÚV reports that the plant, run by Carbon Recycling International (CRI), takes on about 85% of the carbon dioxide produced by the geothermal power plant at Svartsengi for conversion.
CRI uses electricity to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water atoms, and then binds the hydrogen to carbon dioxide to create Renewable Methanol (RM), a clean fuel. CRI’s particular conversion process requires little electrical power, so more energy is produced than is used in production.
While usually vehicles need to be specially converted to use RM, it can be blended with petrol for use in traditional vehicles. However, CRI hopes that hybrid cars using 85% RM to 15% petrol will increase in Iceland.
CRI has been operating in Iceland since 2007. According to CRI’s website, “The Icelandic New Technology Development Fund awarded CRI and its partners, SORPA bs (a public partnership for waste management for the capital area) and the Innovation Center of Iceland a three year grant to fund a research and development project titled Waste gasification and fuel production.”