New technology could use CO2 emissions to make building products

Technology developed in Australia could use carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as a resource to make building products.

The technology has been developed over the past four years by Australian company, Mineral Carbonation International, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Newcastle, the University of Sydney and Columbia University

The research pilot plant was publicly demonstrated recently at the University of Newcastle’s Institute for Energy and Resources.

A first-generation batch plant has been in operation there since the beginning of 2016 and with both plants now operational, the MCi team is conducting intensive research to refine the process and generate carbonated materials for product testing.

The MCi mineral carbonation research pilot plant works by reacting CO2 emissions captured from Orica’s nearby Kooragang Island operations with minerals, permanently binding the CO2 in solid carbonates.

Both carbonates and silica by-products have the potential to be used in building products such as concrete and plasterboard to create green construction materials.

Once proven feasible both economically and environmentally, mineral carbonation plants operating at industrial scale around the world could reduce emissions from big greenhouse gas emitters in cement, steel making and power generation while the transition is made to cleaner forms of energy and other zero emission technologies.

MCi is owned by GreenMag Group Pty Limited, Orica Limited and the University of Newcastle. It has received funding support from the Australian & New South Wales Governments as well as from its shareholders.

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