Researchers at Aalto University have opened a pilot plant that converts CO2 and slag, the by-product of steel manufacturing, into a valuable mineral product.
The product, Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC), is used in e.g. plastics, papers, rubbers and paints. The innovative plant represents the next stage prior commercialization of a new process that consumes CO2 in order to convert a low-value by-product into a highly valuable resource for industry.
The potential economic and environmental benefits of this new technology are significant. "We are turning the industrial solid by-product from steel-manufacturing into a product which is 50 times more valuable," says Arshe Said, a postgraduate researcher at Aalto University. "Also, this process actually consumes CO2 and acts as a CO2 sink which benefits the environment greatly."
Current methods of PCC production require burning large amounts of limestone. "The conventional method involves large mining activities and has high CO2 emissions," points out Sanni Eloneva, D.Sc. (Tech).
Carbon intensive manufacturing industries are coming under increasing pressure from bodies such as the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "We believe this pilot plant will help to efforts by these industries to conform with government imposed emissions and waste targets," explains Professor Mika Järvinen.
In 2010, 13% of the total steel slag produced in Europe (16 Mt) went to the landfill. "In theory, if all the calcium in this steel slag could be recovered, approximately 13 Mt PCC/year could be produced, simultaneously sequestering nearly 6 Mt CO2/year," Järvinen continues.
The highly promising new technology also has other potential advantages. "We are currently investigating the possibility of extracting other valuable materials from the slag after the extraction of calcium", says Said.
The pilot PCC plant is now running in Otaniemi campus of Aalto University. The method used in the pilot is based on the patent owned by Aalto University Foundation together with Åbo Akademi and Rautaruukki Oyj (now part of SSAB).
For More Information
+358 50 571 8886
+358 50 448 9666
+358 50 414 2593
Pilot plant video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=HqkeYyWGHO8
Press photos: http://materialbank.aalto.fi:80/public/40229e15c8C7.aspx
Researchers' article on the pilot plant: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/649b3363#/649b3363/74, Project Magazine UK
Researchers' article on the technology: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261912009336
Sanni Eloneva´s Doctoral dissertation (2010): Reduction of CO2 emissions by mineral carbonation: steelmaking slags as raw material with a pure calcium carbonate end product, http://lib.tkk.fi/Diss/2010/isbn9789526034577/
The development work has been funded by Academy of Finland, Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes) together with many companies, CLEEN Oy´s Carbon Capture and Storage research program (CCSP), and Aalto Center for Entrepreneuship (ACE).
Johanna Juselius | AlphaGalileo
Etching Microstructures with Lasers
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Applying electron beams to 3-D objects
23.09.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction