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CO2 sequestration in inert carbonate materials (mineralisation)


Technology Description

CO2 from industrial emitters can be used as a raw material in the production of building materials. The most mature applications involve the replacement of water with CO2 during the formation of concrete, called CO2 curing, and the reaction of CO2 with waste materials from power plants or industrial processes (e.g. iron slag, coal fly ash), which would otherwise be stockpiled or stored in landfill, to form construction aggregates (small particulates used in building materials). The CO2 used in building materials is permanently stored in the product. CO2-cured concrete can deliver lower costs compared to conventionally-produced concrete, while building materials from waste and CO2 can be competitive in some cases, as they avoid the cost associated with conventional waste disposal. Producing building materials from waste can be energy intensive, particularly the pre-treatment and post-treatment steps. For structural applications of building materials (e.g. building, bridges, etc.), multi-year trial projects are required to demonstrate safe and environmentally friendly performance.

Relevance for Net Zero

CO2 sequestration in carbonates can provide a semi-permanent storage option for CO2, perhaps providing an option where geological storage options are limited and potentially providing value by delivering concrete with lower costs. It requires capture technologies to function and thus achieve emission reductions; if the CO2 is sourced from industrial sources other than cement, it would not reduce the CO2 emissions from cement production itself. The potential for CO2 emissions sequestration can vary considerably according to the mineralisation process employed.

Key Countries

United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, Germany, China, Netherlands, Japan, Viet Nam

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