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Comment Environment, Health, Safety & Security

Scaleup for a CO2 mineralization process

By Paul Grad |

A pilot plant will be established at the University of Newcastle (Newcastle, Australia; www.newcastle.edu.au) to test a new technology for the sequestration of CO2 through mineral carbonation — the reaction with magnesium silicate minerals, such as serpentine, to form mineral carbonates. Mineral carbonation mimics and accelerates the Earth’s natural carbon-sink mechanism by combining CO2 with low-grade minerals to create inert carbonates similar to antacids and baking soda. In the mineral carbonation process, basic rock such as serpentinite is mined, crushed, heated and then mixed with water and pressurized with CO2 to speed up the natural carbonation reaction, which forms stable magnesium carbonate powder and sand. The project will be carried out by Mineral Carbonation International (MCi), a joint venture of Newcastle Innovation (the University of Newcastle’s technology transfer company); Orica Ltd. (formerly ICI Australia; Melbourne; www.orica.com); and a private investor, the GreenMag Group. The four-year project — funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments and Orica — will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers led by Orica’s Geoff Brent, and professors Bogdan…
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