Mineral carbonation in peridotite for CO2 capture and storage (CCS).
Recently, my colleagues and I turned our attention to in situ carbonation of mantle rocks rich in olivine (Kelemen & Matter, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2008). By speeding up natural processes, scientists propose that rocks from the Earth’s deep interior, exposed on the surface by plate tectonics and erosion, may be able to capture and store billions of tons of CO2 per year. If you compare this to the total human output of CO2 to the atmosphere, currently about 30 billion tons of CO2 per year, you can see that this could make a significant difference in the overall CO2 budget of the planet until alternative energy sources replace global fossil fuel use. Given concern about CO2-driven global warming and ocean acidification, CO2 capture and storage ideas are receiving increasing attention.