UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The technology of CO₂ sequestration by mineral carbonation : current status and future prospects Wang, Fei; Dreisinger, D. B. (David Bruce), 1958-; Jarvis, Mark; Hitchins, Tony


Mineral carbonation (MC) has been extensively researched all over the world since it was found as a natural exothermic process to permanently and safely sequester CO₂. In order to accelerate the natural process, various methods for carbonation of Mg-/Ca- silicate minerals and other industrial wastes have been studied. It has been found that the MC efficiency will increase with an increase of CO₂ pressure, retention time, temperature, mass ratio of Mg or Ca to Si in minerals, specific surface area, and the slurry concentration in a specific range, and with the introduction of effective catalysts, for example, 1M NaCl and 0.64M NaHCO₃ or carbonic anhydrase. However, there still is not a successful industrial application because of high economic cost and slow reaction rate. It is not economic to exploit Mg- and Ca- silicate minerals deposits or tailings to sequester CO₂ by MC, due to the cost of grinding and heat pre-treatment and in some cases the whole sequestration process may result in more CO₂ emissions than the amount of CO₂ sequestered due to the requirements of energy inputs. The process however, may be profitable as a whole (with carbon credits). It is suggested to combine MC with recovery of valuable metals from ore deposits in order to reduce the cost for MC by cost sharing for mineral recovery.

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