Facts and figures about CO2 and olivine

2-2.5 billion ton CO2 per year

CO2 is not only produced by human activity. Volcanoes and disintegrating rocks produce 2-2.5 billion tons per year. Olivine is one of the earth’s defence mechanisms. Without it our atmosphere would long ago have become like that on Venus.

100 microns

Human beings produce 30 billion tons of CO2 each year. Nature can’t cope with that amount. Spreading out enough olivine with a size of about 100 microns can help.

1.25 ton CO2

One tonne of olivine can permanently remove 1.25 ton CO2 from the atmosphere. There is enough of it to remove the excess of this greenhouse gas: on or just under the earth’s surface there is a thousand times more than required.

Olivine is the most widely occurring mineral on earth and in many places there are vast massives lying on the earth’s surface. The Mars Explorers have also found it on that planet


In Europe olivine is abundant. It is mined in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Cyprus and the Balkans. Turkey also has olivine mines. Olivine is a the most abundant mineral in the Sultanate of Oman, conservative estimates indicate a volume of about 14,700 cubic km!

Few years

Weathering olivine binds CO2. Sceptics think that it takes 700 years. However, the process is greatly accelerated by the action of heat, movement and water. And also by certain plant growth. Tests have shown that weathering then only takes a few years, rather than centuries.


Olivine is harmless. Even after reaction with CO2 there are no signs of harmful effects. Olivine on the shoreline is also not a health risk.