Mineral Carbonation Potential of CO2 from Natural and Industrial-based Alkalinity Sources

Monday, 15 December 2014: 4:45 PM
Jennifer Wilcox, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States and Abby Kirchofer, Chevron Corporation San Ramon, San Ramon, CA, United States
Mineral carbonation is a Carbon Capture and Storage (CSS) technology where gaseous CO2 is reacted with alkaline materials (such as silicate minerals and alkaline industrial wastes) and converted into stable and environmentally benign carbonate minerals (Metz et al., 2005). Here, we present a holistic, transparent life cycle assessment model of aqueous mineral carbonation built using a hybrid process model and economic input-output life cycle assessment approach. We compared the energy efficiency and the net CO2 storage potential of various mineral carbonation processes based on different feedstock material and process schemes on a consistent basis by determining the energy and material balance of each implementation (Kirchofer et al., 2011). In particular, we evaluated the net CO2 storage potential of aqueous mineral carbonation for serpentine, olivine, cement kiln dust, fly ash, and steel slag across a range of reaction conditions and process parameters. A preliminary systematic investigation of the tradeoffs inherent in mineral carbonation processes was conducted and guidelines for the optimization of the life-cycle energy efficiency are provided.

The life-cycle assessment of aqueous mineral carbonation suggests that a variety of alkalinity sources and process configurations are capable of net CO2 reductions. The maximum carbonation efficiency, defined as mass percent of CO2 mitigated per CO2 input, was 83% for CKD at ambient temperature and pressure conditions. In order of decreasing efficiency, the maximum carbonation efficiencies for the other alkalinity sources investigated were: olivine, 66%; SS, 64%; FA, 36%; and serpentine, 13%.

For natural alkalinity sources, availability is estimated based on U.S. production rates of a) lime (18 Mt/yr) or b) sand and gravel (760 Mt/yr) (USGS, 2011). The low estimate assumes the maximum sequestration efficiency of the alkalinity source obtained in the current work and the high estimate assumes a sequestration efficiency of 85%. The total CO2 storage potential for the alkalinity sources considered in the U.S. ranges from 1.3% to 23.7% of U.S. CO2 emissions, depending on the assumed availability of natural alkalinity sources and efficiency of the mineral carbonation processes.