Environmentally friendly rocks, an alliance in Portugal and a class that was a disappointment. Summit The 3rd of the Web – Observer
In the rugged landscapes of Oman, a rock streaked with brown, gray and black, carved with white veins reminiscent of marble, can become the Holy Grail to sweep excess carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere. In this country, everything happens normally: like stones, called peridotites, born from the lava that sprouted millions of years ago from the Earth’s mantle, react with carbon dioxide dissolved in water or present in the atmosphere and transform it into minerals whitish.
In nature, this happens over tens of years. But at 44.01, a start British woman that the Observer found in pavilion number three at the Web Summit, says she has discovered a way to do exactly the same thing, but much faster, told an engineer Amal Ibrahim to the Observer: from 2030 onwards, she says store a billion tons of carbon dioxide in rocks annually. Once mineralized, carbon dioxide never escapes back into the atmosphere. And the rock becomes a kind of CO fossiltwo.
44.01’s technology can also be useful directly in factories, which emit large amounts of carbon dioxide. Companies can install CO capture fanstwo and deliver it directly to the startup. Using solar energy and biofuel provided by a partner company, Wakund, carbon dioxide is “injected” into these rocks – which also exist in the United States and Albania, and which can be found on the surface (in old mining caves, for example) or a few meters deep in the sea.
The “injection” doesn’t really need needles: the idea is open corridors in rock formations and pump water mixed with carbon dioxide inside. The perodotite is thus exposed to a higher concentration of COtwo than simply staying in nature, which allows for faster reaction and greater carbon dioxide capture and storage. In the end, the water, already free of carbon dioxide, can be reused.
The meaning of the startup’s name is rooted in scientific explanations: carbon dioxide molecules are composed of one atom of carbon and two of oxygen. Now, Adding Molar Mass – mass in grams of a mole of elementary substances, a unit of measurement used in chemistry – of all atoms of the molecule obtained a molar mass of 44.01 grams per mol. Thus was born “44.01”, created in July 2020, which believes that “humanity needs to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere permanently, do not store it”.