Alteration and carbonation of calcium and magnesium silicates: implications on capture, storage and use of CO2

February 17, 2020

Luis Monasterio Guillot - Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad de Granada

Guillot's Doctoral Thesis, March 2020.


According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the current estimated global emission of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), mostly from fossil fuel combustion and cement production, are the main cause of the warming of the climate system due to the unbalance of the inputs and outputs of CO2 to the atmosphere and therefore, to the biogeochemical cycles that regulates Earth's climate. Furthermore, coal-fired power plants are main contributors to atmospheric CO2 emissions, and also produce huge amounts of coal fly ash (CFA) waste. Despite the fact that chemical weathering reactions on the Earth's surface play a key role on the regulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over geologic time-scales (>105 years) and thus, on the climate control, this unbalance is provoking a T increase of ~1.5 - 2 °C (since the beginning of the industrial revolution back in the mid-XVIII c.). CO2 is considered the most important greenhouses gas (GHG), due to the dependence of world economies on fossil fuel combustion. New environmental policies such as the Kyoto Protocol (2012) or the Paris Agreement (2016) are proposing the reduction of anthropogenic GHG emissions to the atmosphere, as well as the active capture of CO2 and its safe storage, as an effective way to avoid/reduce the impact of global warming. Hence, the processes involving the capture, transport and storage of CO2 are gaining attention on the socioeconomic and scientific community as a way to reduce the concentration of this gas in the atmosphere. These are the so-called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) strategies. CCS has been proposed as a potential mechanism to, on the one hand, allow the 16 continued use of fossil fuels to avoid an economic slump, and on the other hand, to prevent the emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used for image analysis and to observe the interior of crystals.