Pulverized rocks used to strip CO2 from large emitting plants

Dec 06, 2012

Researchers in Quebec are developing a process that would see steel, coal and cement plants as well as oil and gas facilities remove most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from their emissions through chemical reactions with various types of crushed rocks in the stacks.

The project is adapting and improving the process by which CO2 reacts with different minerals to form carbonates, a benign but valuable by-product that can then be sold to other commercial operations.

Lead investigator Dr. Guy Mercier, of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), says he and his team are developing an economically attractive process that could easily be integrated into existing facilities and use simple and abundant rocks, waste concrete or tailings from mines in Quebec.

"You take the , the , concrete or mine tailings, and crush it to make a powder and then you send that powder up the chimney with the gas," says Mercier. "The resulting chemical reaction removes 80 per cent of the CO2."

It also forms carbonate that can be sold to a variety of different industries for use as a refractory material or as an alcaline agent in . "This will allow companies to profit while sequestering CO2, says Mercier. "They can create new jobs instead of creating pollution."

"It's a lower cost, low pressure, low temperature technology that doesn't require capturing purified CO2," Mercier says. "There are a lot of engineering challenges in this but we are well on our way to achieving success."

Mercier is working with an international team of researchers from INRS, the University of Calgary and the University of Melbourne. The project is also being undertaken with industrial partners Holcim Canada, a building materials and construction company, and SIGMA DEVTECH, a consulting company for startups. The research team will be reacting various magnesium and calcium rocks available in mine tailings mines with the gaseous emissions (containing CO2) of a Holcim cement plant with the participation of the cement plant staff in a chemical reactor (a plant in itself).

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User comments : 3

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lengould100
1 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2012
So could we have an estimate of the full costs of implementing this for an emitter near a tailings source, and for one at a significant distance? If anyone finds it, please link thanks.
Howhot
not rated yet Dec 09, 2012
Sounds like an interesting idea. Obviously it could use a little federal funding (perhaps a joint Canada, US approach) to get the engineering fundamentals in place. It will flounder if left to commercial development alone.
VendicarD
not rated yet Dec 09, 2012
For every coal car arriving 3 train cars worth of gypsum slag will have to be trucked and dumped somewhere.

Have fun trying to process that material.

The solution is simple. Convert the economy from needless consumption to efficient consumption as needed, and slowly lower the population to a sustainable level.

But the Capitalists will try every failed method available to them to prevent that from happening.

Leisure is the ultimate Liberty.

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