Enhanced Ex-Situ Mineral Carbonation at Ambient Conditions with Industrial Waste


Brett Spigarelli

Carbon dioxide sequestration by conversion to carbonates has become a promising option for CO2 storage. Experiments were conducted to determine the feasibility of CO2 sequestration at ambient conditions using a Ca-rich industrial waste in a carbonate solution. The Ca-rich industrial waste used in this study was lignite fly ash. Fly ash was chosen because it is cheap, available near large CO2 point sources, already in powder form, and reactive due to amorphous properties. In the experimental set-up, CO2 absorption was inferred by monitoring feed and exhaust gas CO2 concentrations. The addition of an alkali to a fly ash-distilled water solution provided a 50% increase in CO2 absorption of the solution. Absorption time also increased by 50% compared to a fly ash-distilled water solution. TGA analysis was used to determine the extent of CO2 sequestration in the carbonate form. At a liquid to solid ratio of 20:1, the conversion of “free” calcium to carbonates was 75%. A CO2 balance on the system concluded that at the current operating conditions 42% of the total CO2 fed to the system was sequestered in the carbonate form. Performing SEM-EDS analysis on the fly ash particles, before and after reaction with CO2, found that the carbonate compound being formed was calcium carbonate. The analysis identified rhomboidal structures on the surface of the fly ash particles after reaction with CO2, but not before. These rhomboids are characteristic of calcium carbonate formation and they had higher Ca, C, and O concentrations than the host spheres, suggesting calcium carbonate formation.



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