Archive for category Mineral Carbonation

CO2 into Baking Soda – Skyonic Gets $3M Stimulus Funding

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Austin carbon capture company Skyonic will get $3 million in stimulus funding to add its technology to a San Antonio cement plant and turn carbon dioxide into baking soda.

Skyonic will wheel its CO2-to-baking-soda trailers from a Luminant coal-fired power plant, where Skyonic conducted a pilot project, to the Capitol Aggregates Ltd. cement plant, according to a spokeswoman.

The Capitol-SkyMine® plant is targeted to capture 75,000 metric-tonnes of CO2 from flue gas emitted by Capitol Aggregates’ cement plant and mineralize the carbon dioxide-emissions as baking soda, while also offsetting an additional 200,000 metric-tonnes of CO2 in the manufacture of benign chemical byproducts. The Capitol-SkyMine® plant will operate at a profit, due to the sale of these byproducts and is expected to generate over two hundred permanent jobs in Texas. The mineralized carbon dioxide (baking soda) will be used in several industrial applications and tested as feed-stock for bio-algae fuels. Capitol-SkyMine® will also neutralize acid-rain emissions, and reduce mercury and heavy metals emissions.


Zero Emission Coal Power Plant Design Makes Carbon Capture Profitable

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Power Plant Produces Hydrogen, Only Raw Materials Needed are Coal, Salt and Water

The only raw material required is coal (or natural gas), sodium chloride (salt) and water. The process locks carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) into sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate.

Florida International University (FIU, Miami, Florida) FIU Center for the Study of Matter at Extreme Conditions Director Surendra Saxena developed the system of reactions for a partial sequestration of carbon (CO2 and CO) from coal burning plants and zero emission production of hydrogen and hydrides. The only raw material to be used is salt (sodium chloride, NaCl), coal and water or a metal for the hydride. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) generated from the chloride is used for locking carbon dioxide in sodium carbonate and bicarbonate, according to Saxena in U.S. Patent Application 20100028241

Saxena process also generates hydrogen from the reaction. The reaction takes place in a closed system to achieve zero emission of carbon gases while generating hydrogen from the reaction. The process of carbonation is not a direct conversion of NaOH to Na2CO3 but is a result of a reaction with other solids and gases usually producing hydrogen in important amounts.


Cyclic Carbonates from CO2 – Newcastle Univ Breakthrough

Posted by on Thursday, 11 February, 2010

Scientists at Newcastle University have pioneered breakthrough technology in the fight to cut greenhouse gases. The Newcastle University team, led by Michael North, Professor of Organic Chemistry, has developed a highly energy-efficient method of converting waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into chemical compounds known as cyclic carbonates.

The team estimates that the technology has the potential to use up to 48 million tonnes of waste CO2 per year, reducing the UK’s emissions by about four per cent.

Cyclic carbonates are widely used in the manufacture of products including solvents, paint-strippers, biodegradable packaging, as well as having applications in the chemical industry.

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Geo-Processors Turns Bicarbonate Wastewater to Useful Products Using CO2

Posted by on Thursday, 11 February, 2010

Sydney based company Geo-Processors Pty Limited announced the completion of development of a breakthrough Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology following successful initial process trials.

The technology – identified as Carbon Capture and Products Recovery (CCPR) system – enables efficient capture of CO2 from ambient air or point-sources and then conversion to mineral byproducts for industrial use or recycling.

Central to this technology is the use of massive volumes of bicarbonate-rich water produced as waste water by oil/gas production, coal mining and coal power stations and desalination processes – currently a source of environmental concerns and operational costs.

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SkyMine from Skyonic – Baking Soda from CO2

Posted by on Thursday, 11 February, 2010

Can baking soda curb global warming? At least one company thinks the answer is yes.

Joe David Jones, the founder and CEO of Skyonic, has come up with an industrial process called SkyMine that captures 90 percent of the carbon dioxide coming out of smoke stacks and mixes it with sodium hydroxide to make sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The energy required for the reaction to turn the chemicals into baking soda comes from the waste heat from the factory.

The system also removes 97 percent of the heavy metals, as well as most of the sulfur and nitrogen compounds, Jones said.

Luminant, a utility formerly known as TXU, installed a pilot version of the system at its Big Brown Steam Electric Station in Fairfield, Texas, last year.

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Limestone-based Industrial Carbon Capture Technology @ IRL, New Zealand

Posted by on Wednesday, 10 February, 2010

The process is designed to capture carbon dioxide from coal fired power stations and other industries that emit significant amounts of the greenhouse gas. IRL has been awarded $350,000 over three years by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology to further develop its technology.

The lime cycling process uses limestone, a relatively abundant and inexpensive material. It is heated to around 900 degrees centigrade to become lime, which is a very effective material for absorbing carbon dioxide.

When post-combustion flue gas is passed through the lime in a fluidised bed, the CO2 is captured. The process is then reversed to transform the lime back into limestone, which is then used again to capture more CO2.

The 95 per cent pure CO2 that is produced can be compressed to about 3% of its original volume and can then be stored efficiently or used in another industrial process. This process has been known for many years but until now it has not been efficient enough to be considered commercially applicable.

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CO2 Fixed in Bauxite – Alcoa’s CO2 Capture Process in Australia

Posted by on Wednesday, 10 February, 2010

Here’s an interesting piece of news on fixing CO2 as a carbonate.

Developed in Australia by Alcoa’s Technology Delivery Group, the process works by mixing carbon dioxide into the bauxite residue from aluminium production – forming stable inorganic minerals and ‘locking in’ CO2 that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere.

The long-term plan is to deploy the carbon capture technology at Alcoa’s other refineries around the world – in the Australian refineries alone, this could permanently store as much as 300,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Although this first-of-a-kind plant has used offsite emissions, Alcoa expect most of their other carbon capture plants will use CO2 from on-site powerhouse emissions.

The Kwinana carbon capture plant was built in 2000 and initially operated as a trial facility. For the last two years, it has carbonated around 25% of the Kwinana refinery’s residue output. Construction of a CO2 pipeline in 2007 has allowed throughput to be increased to 80% of the refinery’s residue output with plans to increase it further to 95%.

The Kwinana carbon capture plant was built in 2000 and initially operated as a trial facility. For the last two years, it has carbonated around 25% of the Kwinana refinery’s residue output.

Residue management is a key sustainability issue for the aluminium industry because of residue volumes and long-term storage requirements.

Up to two tonnes of bauxite residue are generated for every tonne of alumina produced.

The residue is a mixture of minerals that are left behind when the alumina is removed from the bauxite. Mixing concentrated CO2 into the residue reduces its pH level from 13.5 to 10.5. At this level of alkalinity, the residue presents a significantly lower environmental risk and has the potential to be re-used as a value-added resource, for example in road base, building materials or soil amendments.

This is indeed exciting, folks. What makes it even more interesting is that it is not just theory but things are happening on the ground.

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CO2 to Limestone Using Basalt Formations – Capture, Storage

Posted by on Saturday, 23 January, 2010

Was reading an article on carbon sequestration that has a focus on basalt rock formations on the coasts of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Add this a recent Popular Mechanics article comments on the potential for these rock formations to be the storage place for CO2. It says, “…a new scientific analysis suggests /that the related basalt formations buried under the U.S. East Coast and extending out to sea might someday be doing some critical trapping after all — of greenhouse gas emissions from the likes of giant coal-burning power plants.”

Basalt is capable of transforming CO2 dissolved in water into calcium carbonate, or limestone. This way, CO2 is stored in the form of stable carbonates for a very long period.

Results of the analysis published in a recent edition of The Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences suggest that the basalt formations actually may be ideal for capturing billions of tons of CO2, with single basalt formations alone having the potential to capture almost a billion T.

That’s not a bad number at all. The world emits something about 35 billion T of CO2 per year, and the world will be keen to capture at least 10 billion T of these every year. If one basalt formation could store a billion T, with a large number of such formations world over, the potential could be sizable for the medium term. However, the worldwide capacity estimates for these basaltic rock formations that can store CO2 appear to be quite preliminary in nature.

This site gives the cost of storage alone at about $10 per T of CO2. However, this does not include cost of capture and transportation.

In terms of actual work on the ground, two such projects appear to have done some amount of work – the “Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership,” headed by a team including researchers from Idaho National Laboratory, the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University, (Hickey), and “Carbfix,” a project in Iceland run by a team from the University of Iceland, Columbia University, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, and Reykjavik Energy (CarbFix). (Source)

Guess just projects being out there does not augur too well for this area, but again, CCS efforts themselves are only about a decade old, so it will interesting to watch out the developments in the domain of basalt storage of CO2.

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