Háskóli Íslands

The defense will take place in the Main building, Aula and starts at 15:00

"Experimental Study of Basalt Carbonatization"

A joint Ph.D. degree from the University of Iceland and University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.
Opponents are Prof. Benedicte Menez, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and Prof. Liane G. Benning, University of Leeds.
Instructors: Sigurður Reynir Gislason, Domenik Wolff-Boenisch and Eric Oelkers.

Abstract:
Iceland is among the few countries in the World where CO2 storage through in-situ mineralization is being tested, also referred to as the CarbFix project (www.carbfix.com). A CO2 injection site has been established at the geothermal power plant, Hellisheiði outside Reykjavík and the first injection took place in January 2012. This PhD study is one of many projects associated to CarbFix, and the aim of this study has been to investigate the effect of secondary carbonate coatings on basaltic glass and silicate minerals. Furthermore, dissolution of basaltic glass was studied in the presence of heterotrophic bacteria, Pseudomonas reactans, a common Icelandic soil bacteria.

Successful CO2 mineralization requires a continued dissolution of the basaltic rocks underlying Hellisheiði. Dissolution of basalt leads to release of divalent cations that can react with the injected CO2-water and form carbonates (calcite, siderite, magnesite, dolomite, ankerite). However, these carbonates can potentially clog pore spaces and cover the basalt surface, thereby limiting basalt dissolution. Results of this study showed that dissolution of basaltic glass and crystalline silicate minerals continued to dissolve unhindered although the silicate mineral surfaces in some cases were extensively covered with calcium carbonate precipitates. Similarly, the bacteria had very little to no effect on the basaltic glass dissolution rates under the conditions to be found at Hellisheiði. These results are promising for the success of the CO2 storage project.

The Ph.D. project was supported by Reykjavik Energy, the Research Fund of the University of Iceland, and the Nordic Volcanological Center.

Link to thesis: http://www.jarvik.dk/thesis/GJS-Thesis-May2012.pdf

About the doctoral candidate:
Gabrielle Jarvik Stockmann was born 1969 in Copenhagen, Denmark and grew up in Denmark and Greenland. She received a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry in 1996 and a M.Sc. degree in Geology in 1998 from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her Master’s study took place in Southern Greenland, where she studied rare submarine tufa columns made of the mineral ikaite (CaCO3x6H2O). Following graduation she worked for four years at the Danish Polar Center as an academic employee, one year as information worker at the Geological Institute, University of Copenhagen and finally two years as Head of Section at Universities Denmark before moving to Iceland in 2007. She wrote a book about the Greenlandic ikaite columns together with another geologist, Uffe Wilken in 2007, and this book is now frequently used for teaching in primary and high schools in Denmark. Gabrielle is married to Erik Sturkell, Professor in Applied Geophysics at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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