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Carbon capture and sequestration poses a viable form of reducing carbon emissions and permanently removing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, however it is only possible in certain geological formations, and therefore not available to all power plants around the world.
A group in Newcastle, Australia, are in the process of building the world’s first ever mineral carbonation plant, which will not just capture carbon emission and store them, but actually transform them into a stone-like substance which can then be used in construction.
The plant will use mineral carbonation technology to mimic the way that the Earth naturally deals with carbon, but in a much shorter time frame.
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For six years the University of Newcastle, in conjunction with Orica, and GreenMag Group have researched the technology that the pilot plant will use, and now Mineral Carbonation International is set to spend $9 million building the plant over the next four years.
Left to Right: Orica CEO Ian Smith, NSW Energy and Resources Minister Chris Hartcher, and MCi CEO Marcus St John Dawe. (ABC)
Ian Smith, the chief executive officer at Orica, explained that his company had already begun to capture carbon emissions from its power plants in preparation for converting them into rocks with this new technology.
“This would enable, not just us as a company, but all the coal fired power stations around the world to be retrofitted so they can capture their CO2 off-take.
If you look at just storing it underground that only works in certain geological formations.
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This can work wherever those power stations are.”
The Mineral Carbonation Bricks. (ABC)
Marcus St. John Dawe, the chief executive officer of Mineral Carbonation International, explained that the material produced by the plant could be used for many things, but that the most likely will be bricks and paving stones for the construction industry. “We could be making millions of tonnes of bricks and pavers which really could be green products for the future.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com