Converting Carbon Dioxide Into a Valuable Resource.
Researchers at Aalto University have opened a pilot plant that converts CO2 and slag, the by-product of steel manufacturing, into a valuable mineral product.
The product, Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC), is used in e.g. plastics, papers, rubbers and paints. The potential economic and environmental benefits of this new technology are significant. "We are turning the industrial solid by-product from steel-manufacturing into a product which is 50 times more valuable. Also, this process actually consumes CO2 and acts as a CO2 sink which benefits the environment greatly.
Current methods of PCC production require burning large amounts of limestone. The conventional method involves large mining activities and has high CO2 emissions. In 2010, 13% of the total steel slag produced in Europe went to the landfill. In theory, if all the calcium in this steel slag could be recovered, approximately 13 Mt PCC/year could be produced, simultaneously sequestering nearly 6 Mt CO2/year.
The highly promising new technology also has other potential advantages, and the researchers are currently investigating the possibility of extracting other valuable materials from the slag after the extraction of calcium.
19-09-2014 10:15 AM