Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carbon capture: Making use of minerals

23.05.2013
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 atmosphere1,2.

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.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences

Journal information

Highfield, J., Lim, H.-Q., Fagerlund, J. & Zevenhoven, R. Activation of serpentine for CO2 mineralization by flux extraction of soluble magnesium salts using ammonium sulfate. RSC Advances 2, 6535–6541 (2012).

Highfield, J., Lim, H.-Q., Fagerlund., J. & Zevenhoven, R. Mechanochemical processing of serpentine with ammonium salts under ambient conditions for CO2 mineralization. RSC Advances 2, 6542–6548 (2012).

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/6668
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
16.01.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
16.01.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>