Olaf Schuiling proposes olivine rock grinding

Filed in Uncategorized by on August 17, 2011 0 Comments

Dutch Professor Olaf Schuiling has been working on rock grinding for many years. Remember the Virgin Earth Challenge, launched early 2007 with the promise to award $35 million to the best method to remove greenhouse gases? Schuiling said: Let’s grind more rocks! Last thing Schuiling heard was that he was among the final ten contenders.

Schuiling’s method is simple. Crush olivine rock to small pieces and it will bind with carbon dioxide. This process – called weathering – happens in nature but takes a long time. Crushing and grinding olivine rock will speed up the process and is therefore often called enhanced weathering. It works best in wet tropical countries, but can be done everywhere around the world.

Schuiling proposes to cover beaches, levees and railway tracks with the material, and proposes olivine to be added to building materials like pavement and concrete. It can also be added to soil and water. Adding olivine can fertilize the soil and improve its ability to retain water, and can work well in combination with biochar and other ways to increase organic carbon in the soil. When added to the sea, it can reduce acidification, and stimulate growth of diatoms and other forms of biomass in the sea.

This is a win-win solution, Schuiling says, as it helps grow more food, while combating global warming. To add another win, it can also produce drinking water that is healthier than rain water. Schuiling recommends cities to build olivine hills, to remove carbon dioxide from the air while filtering water.

Below is a video with more background, in Dutch with English subtitles.  Also have a look at this poster.



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