Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carbon capture: Making use of minerals

Date:
May 22, 2013
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Ammonium salts could provide a viable way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via carbon mineralization, studies suggest.

Ammonium salts could provide a viable way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via carbon mineralization

Removing excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere may be essential to curb severe climate change. Possible, but expensive, methods include burying the gas underground between rock layers or 'scrubbing' the CO2 in power station cooling towers before it is released. James Highfield at A*STAR's Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, together with co-workers at the National Junior College of Singapore and Åbo Akademi University in Finland, has now described a cheaper and more permanent solution that would prevent the CO2 escaping back into the atmosphere.

Their work focused on using carbon mineralization, a process that involves a reaction between CO2 and minerals, such as magnesium silicates, to form solid carbonates. Mineralization occurs naturally between the atmosphere and rocks, and the carbonates remain geologically stable for millions of years. Crucially, plentiful raw materials would be available to conduct this type of CO2 removal on a vast scale.

Natural carbon mineralization is very slow, so scientists are working to accelerate the process in an energy-efficient and carbon-neutral way. Using ammonium salts and magnesium-silicate-rich serpentine rocks, Highfield and co-workers induced rapid carbon mineralization. They also found that milling the solids could convert serpentine directly into stable carbonate.

To accelerate the extraction of magnesium (as soluble sulfate) from serpentine, the researchers used ammonium sulfate. This reaction generates by-products such as iron oxide that may be useful for the steel industry. They trapped the leftover ammonia in water, and recycled this by-product in an aqueous wash with the magnesium solution to produce a mineral form of magnesium hydroxide called brucite. Finally, the researchers carbonated the brucite in a pressurized reactor. The heat generated by this exothermic process was recycled to help power the initial magnesium extraction.

A key aim throughout the processing was to recycle as much ammonium sulfate as possible. The final products, magnesites (magnesium carbonates), could also be useful. "Magnesites are commodities in their own right as smoke- and fire-retardants, and have potential for heavy-metal ion sequestration," the team notes.

Highfield and co-workers discovered that the yield of recycled ammonium sulfate drops considerably at temperatures of 400-450 °C, although reactions at these temperatures produce the most brucite. They suggest that this may be rectified by either increasing the humidity during the process or performing the reaction at a lower temperature to extract an alternative mineral to brucite.

"By virtue of their rich chemistry with magnesium, ammonium salts are likely to become ubiquitous in the field of CO2 mineralization," the team says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. James Highfield, HuiQi Lim, Johan Fagerlund, Ron Zevenhoven. Activation of serpentine for CO2 mineralization by flux extraction of soluble magnesium salts using ammonium sulfate. RSC Advances, 2012; 2 (16): 6535 DOI: 10.1039/C2RA01347A
  2. James Highfield, HuiQi Lim, Johan Fagerlund, Ron Zevenhoven. Mechanochemical processing of serpentine with ammonium salts under ambient conditions for CO2 mineralization. RSC Advances, 2012; 2 (16): 6542 DOI: 10.1039/C2RA20575K

Cite This Page:

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Carbon capture: Making use of minerals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522131020.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2013, May 22). Carbon capture: Making use of minerals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522131020.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "Carbon capture: Making use of minerals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130522131020.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins