Einstein Science Reporting for Kids
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17-Apr-2007

Contact: Knut van der Wel
kw@rcn.no
47-2203-7353
The Research Council of Norway

Greenhouse gases turn to stone



Norway will soon be building its first gas-fired power plant. However, the combustion of gas leads to large amounts of greenhouse gas. This gas is also known as carbon dioxide, and it leads to pollution and global warming. It has therefore been decided that greenhouse gas should not be released into the atmosphere. As a result, the power plant has to do something to get rid of 1.3 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas every single year. That amounts to about 150 metric tonnes an hour!

Injection into the seabed

The gas has to be stored some place. For several years, scientists have been studying what happens when they pump gas into the seabed, either into a depleted oil field or under oil deposits to press even more oil out of them. The big question is: What happens to the gas? It would be a real shame if all the gas simply resurfaced again.

Turns to stone

Professor Per Aagaard of the University of Oslo can now reassure us that all the gas will turn to stone after a couple of hundred years. The gas is not dangerous at all if it is injected into the seabed. He also maintains that there is plenty of room for the gas in the Norwegian seabed. In fact, the seabed actually has enough room to store all the greenhouse gas from all the power plants in Europe for the next 800 years.

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