Frequently Asked Questions

Our Frequently Asked Questions help you to find the answer to your questions. If your question is not in the list, please contact us by email.

About olivine

Does the use of Olivine for CO2 reduction still require a lot of basic research?

No, in principle all laboratory research is finished. The project is in a phase of experiments and scaling to practical use. In the Netherlands several initiatives have already found practical application.

Is the speed of weathering really a problem?

It is wise to select the best climates for weathering, and the best conditions, but contrary to theoretical models based on the extrapolation of abiotic laboratory experiments, observations in the real world show that the speed of weathering is fast enough to provide a practical solution.

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Is there enough exploitable olivine to help the world?

There is, even close to the Earth’s surface more than thousand time more olivine than there will be ever necessary to counteract the rise of CO2 levels, for example see:

What are the possible environmental risks caused by spreading olivine?

Minimal, because the olivine option is based on a natural process that has gone on for the whole of geological history. Some points need consideration: whereas for most ecologies a restoration of low pH values is positive (this is normally done by liming, but that doesn’t have the additional benefit of CO2 capture), there are specific biotopes that require low pH values. These should not be strewn with olivine.

Why is the olivine initiative not yet realized?

This is not quite correct. Several project are in a phase of implementation (roof covering of office buildings and houses with olivine, marketing of potting soil enriched with olivine, A first olivine mine with the specific purpose of using olivine for CO2 sequestration has just been opened in Oman, and several others)

  • Lack of promotion of the challenges.
  • Doubts speed of weathering rate.
  • Clean Development Mechanism required in CO2
  • The solution requires high volumes and large areas.
  • The solution is not ‘high tech’ and maybe less attractive for Hardly any application is patentable; therefor industrial investors are not keen to pump money in it not being assured of a unique use of such applications.

About CO2 reduction

Does it make sense to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and or from the ocean in countries with a relative low emission?

The climate is a well-mixed reservoir on the scale of months, so for the climate it makes no difference where the CO2 is removed.

About the commercial exploitation of olivine

Is there a real business case for the use of olivine?

  • Yes, e.g. mining companies have problems with waste, or wish to create value out of waste.
  • For good reasons consumer oriented industries like a ‘green’ imago.
  • We are studying small scale applications with acceptable rates of return.
  • See for intended application areas elsewhere on this website.
  • Compensation for limitation of CO2 emissions by energy producers etc. As long as this compensation stays below say € 50/ton CO2 they see no business case
  • A general CO2 tax on emission will make all kind of projects nore beneficial

Hoe does the cost of the olivine initiative compared with alternatives?

Yes, there have been two independent lca-studies of the complete olivine option (mining, milling, transport and spreading). One study resulted in an energy cost (expressed in CO2 equivalent) of 4% CO2 expenditure. A new one indicated at 3.5% of the CO2 that is ultimately captured. This is in clear contrast to the CO2 cost of CCS, which is around 29%.

About the Olivine Foundation

What are the objectives of the Foundation?

  • Further develop and research possible olivine applications for CO2 reduction on practical use.
  • Bring olivine applications to the attention of policy makers, governmental institutions and companies.
  • Promote the commercialisation of such applications.

What are the assets of the Foundation?

The only tangible asset is knowledge, patenting of most of our ideas seems not possible. There are no intangible assets such as funds, sponsors or subsidies. The foundation is registered as ANBI for income tax deduction possibilities in the Netherlands.

Is there an international focus?

Yes, we have good contacts e.g. in Greece, Oman, Spain, India, South Africa and Brazil. Cooperation with Wageningen University strengthens these links also to other interested countries.

Does the Dutch government participate?

Not yet, there is no interest in the olivine alternative; government strategy and funding are focussed on CCS (underground storage of CO2), but the attitude is now changing. An “Olivine Assessment” is recently initiated bij the “Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu”.

The outcome is still not known (2016)

The Dutch “Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving” (PBL) mentions Olivine as a realistic option in coastal waters (2018)