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What is CO2 Mineralization?
While coal fired power plants produce about 48% of the electricity in the USA and while coal is the least-expensive fossil fuel (on an mmbtu basis - externalities NOT included!) and a plentiful resource, its continued use contributes to increasing carbon emissions (CO2) levels in the atmosphere.
By capturing and storing these carbon emissions from coal fired power plants, this would reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions levels while allowing power plants to continue using inexpensive coal.
There are various "Carbon Capture and Sequestration" technologies being promoted for reducing carbon emissions. Carbon capture and sequestration represents a significant cost to fossil-fueled power plants that must now retrofit their power plants to meet the ever-increasing emissions requirements of the EPA. Reducing these carbon emissions and their ever-increasing costs is a primary objective of all owners of fossil-fueled power plants, particularly coal fired power plants.
CO2 mineralization is a competing technology of Carbon Capture and Sequestration that captures the carbon emissions from the flue gas (chimney) of fossil-fueled power plants and convert the carbon emissions into a solid - such as carbonate, or bicarbonate products (i.e. baking soda) - that is easily transported, stored above ground, or integrated into value-added products (e.g. paper filler, plastic filler, construction materials, etc.).
In nature, the reaction of carbon dioxide with various minerals - over long periods of time - generates a solid carbonate--this process is known as CO2 mineralization.
The use of CO2 mineralization as a Carbon Capture and Sequestration method is limited by the speed at which these minerals can be dissolved and carbon dioxide can be hydrated.
Through the use of chemical catalysts - which increases the mineral dissolution rate, and the enzymatic catalyst carbonic anhydrase - significantly shortens the amount of time requires by speeding-up the hydration of carbon into useful products such as baking soda.
CO2 mineralization significantly speeds-up the process of capturing and mineralizing carbon emissions tas well as other harmful emissions and hazardous air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SOx), nitrogen oxides as well as mercury.
could be "deposited" or sequestered from the climate, providing
a cost-effective solution coal-fire power plants to limit their carbon
emissions. The easily visible evidence of stored carbon eliminates the need for long-term monitoring of stored
What is Carbon Capture and Sequestration?
Carbon Capture and Sequestration is one of the most promising ways for reducing the buildup of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Even under the most optimistic scenarios for energy efficiency gains - along with the greater use of renewable energy technologies, and low carbon fuels and even no-carbon fuels, Carbon Capture and Sequestration will likely be an essential technology that is going to be deployed if the world is to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels - and more specifically, that carbon emissions, one of the most potent and climate changing of all greenhouse gas emissions, be kept below 350 ppm.
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