The UAE has started capturing C02 emissions in the air as part of a decarbonisation project of oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) at its pilot site in Fujairah, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. 

The captured carbon will turn into rock over a period of three to four months after it is dissolved in seawater and injected into the Hajar Mountains, Chief Technology Officer Sophie Hildebrand was quoted by the news agency as saying. 

Early this year, ADNOC announced a partnership with the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation (FNRC), UAE energy firm Masdar and Omani start-up 44.01 to pilot a technology that can permanently mineralise carbon within rock formations found in Fujairah. 

The initiative is the first carbon capture and mineralisation (CCM) project by an energy company in the Middle East. Fujairah has been selected to test the technology because it has abundant peridotite, a form of rock that naturally reacts with carbon to mineralise it. 

ADNOC kicked off the project ahead of the COP28 in the UAE, where heads of state and other stakeholders are expected to take up climate solutions. 

The oil giant’s carbon capture site has a suction fan that pulls CO2 from the air, which is then stored in a vertical cylindrical tank. The captured carbon will then be mixed with seawater and injected into the crevasses and nooks of the Hajar Mountains, said Chief Technical Officer Ehab Tasfai. 

“The volume of rock here would have the potential to easily sequester all of the carbon dioxide in the UAE,” Hildebrand said. 

Carbon mineralisation is different from carbon storage. Founder and CEO of 44.01 Talal Hasan said earlier that the technology eliminates pollutants permanently by turning carbon into rock, minimising the need for long-term monitoring and insurance. 

“This pilot will enable us to test our technology at scale, on our way to offering a safe, cost-effective natural solution for eliminating captured C02 internationally.” 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)