ECN publication
Carbon dioxide sequestration by mineral carbonation: Literature review update 2003-2004
Published by: Publication date:
ECN 1-7-2005
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--05-022 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
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The increasing interest in mineral CO2 sequestration caused the need for an update of the ECN literature review on this subject (February 2003). The present report reviews literature published in 2003 and 2004 on the carbonation of solid Ca/Mg-silicates for CO2 sequestration. This review update confirms the selection in the previous report of the so-called aqueous mineral carbonation route as the most promising process route. Much progress has been made on this route in recent years resulting in a system study that showed this approach to be both technologically and energetically feasible. However, sequestration costs are (still) too high compared to other CO2 storage options and in view of expected CO2 market prices. Cost reductions might be achieved by adding suitable additives to enhance the reaction rate in an (two-step) aqueous process, by developing large-scale continuous reactors and (on a limited scale) by using low-cost feedstock such as industrial alkaline solid residues. A breakthrough in further cost reduction of mineral sequestration probably has to come from totally new concepts, such as a mineral sequestration process integrated within a power plant. Very limited research has been published on such approaches. Beneficial re-use of carbonated products could also reduce sequestration costs for the first mineral CO2 sequestration (demonstration) plants. Mineral CO2 sequestration (still) is a longer-term option compared to other sequestration options, and probably has limited potential in the short term. Further technology development and cost reduction are needed for mineral CO2 sequestration to become part of a broad portfolio of employable CO2 sequestration technologies.

In the present report, the need for a new study on mineral CO2 sequestration by the International Energy Agency (IEA) is also assessed. In 2000, the IEA published an evaluation of the technological and economical feasibility of a number of CO2 mineralisation process routes. The main conclusion of that evaluation was that none of the process routes studied proved to be energetically and economically feasible. With regard to the process-routes evaluated in the IEA study, the present report confirms this conclusion. However, the IEA report did not include the most promising carbonation process route available today (i.e., the aqueous carbonation route). Therefore, an update of the IEA-assessment on 'CO2 storage as carbonate minerals' is, in principle, advisable. However, since a (cost-)evaluation of the aqueous carbonation route has been published recently, it is questionable whether a new IEA assessment study would provide sufficient new insights at this moment. Furthermore, more information is required on the feasibility of some potentially attractive developments that are currently in a conceptual state. In view of these considerations, the IEA is advised to repeat this literature review, with a similar scope, in 2-3 years. The developments over this period may provide the necessary new insights to warrant a new assessment on mineral CO2 sequestration by the IEA.

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