Researchers convert carbon dioxide into a valuable resource

September 17, 2014

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 innovative plant represents the next stage prior commercialization of a new process that consumes CO2 in order to convert a low-value by-product into a highly valuable resource for industry.

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," says Arshe Said, a postgraduate researcher at Aalto University. "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," points out Sanni Eloneva, D.Sc. (Tech).

Carbon intensive manufacturing industries are coming under increasing pressure from bodies such as the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "We believe this pilot plant will help to efforts by these industries to conform with government imposed emissions and waste targets," explains Professor Mika Järvinen.

In 2010, 13% of the total steel slag produced in Europe (16 Mt) 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," Järvinen continues.

The highly promising new technology also has other potential advantages. "We are currently investigating the possibility of extracting other valuable materials from the slag after the extraction of calcium", says Said.

The pilot PCC plant is now running in Otaniemi campus of Aalto University. The method used in the pilot is based on the patent owned by Aalto University Foundation together with Åbo Akademi and Rautaruukki Oyj (now part of SSAB).
-end-
For More Information

Aalto University

Arshe Said
Postgraduate researcher
arshe.said@aalto.fi
+358 50 571 8886
http://people.aalto.fi/index.html?language=english#arshe_said

Sanni Eloneva
Post-doc researcher
sanni.eloneva@aalto.fi
+358 50 448 9666

Mika Järvinen
Associate Professor
mika.jarvinen@aalto.fi
+358 50 414 2593
http://people.aalto.fi/index.html?language=english#mika_jarvinen

Pilot plant video: youtube.com/watch?v=HqkeYyWGHO8

Press photos: http://materialbank.aalto.fi:80/public/40229e15c8C7.aspx

Researchers' article on the pilot plant: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/649b3363#/649b3363/74, Project Magazine UK

Researchers' article on the technology: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261912009336

Sanni Eloneva´s Doctoral dissertation (2010): Reduction of CO2 emissions by mineral carbonation: steelmaking slags as raw material with a pure calcium carbonate end product, http://lib.tkk.fi/Diss/2010/isbn9789526034577/

The development work has been funded by Academy of Finland, Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes) together with many companies, CLEEN Oy´s Carbon Capture and Storage research program (CCSP), and Aalto Center for Entrepreneuship (ACE).

Aalto University

Related Calcium Articles from Brightsurf:

A new strategy for the greener use of calcium carbide
Computational chemists from St Petersburg University and the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences have developed a new strategy for using calcium acetylide in the synthesis of organic compounds.

New link between calcium and cardiolipin in heart defects
To function properly, the heart needs energy from cells' powerhouses, the mitochondria.

'Give me the calcium!' Tulane virus takes over cellular calcium signaling to replicate
Researchers uncover the first piece of functional evidence suggesting that Tulane virus and human norovirus use viroporins to control cellular calcium signaling.

Carbon dots make calcium easier to track
Prof. DONG Wenfei's research group from the Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology (SIBET) has developed a new type of fluorescent carbon dot that can effectively detect calcium levels in cells.

Calcium batteries: New electrolytes, enhanced properties
Calcium-based batteries promise to reach a high energy density at low manufacturing costs.

Chelated calcium benefits poinsettias
Cutting quality has an impact on postharvest durability during shipping and propagation of poinsettias.

New study uncovers the interaction of calcium channels
Korean researchers have identified the interactions of the combinants among calcium channel proteins that exist in nerve and heart cells.

Calcium-catalyzed reactions of element-H bonds
Calcium-catalyzed reactions of element-H bonds provide precise and efficient tools for hydrofunctionalization.

A bioengineered tattoo monitors blood calcium levels
Scientists have created a biomedical tattoo that becomes visible on the skin of mice in response to elevated levels of calcium in the blood.

The dinosaur menu, as revealed by calcium
By studying calcium in fossil remains in deposits in Morocco and Niger, researchers have been able to reconstruct the food chains of the past, thus explaining how so many predators could coexist in the dinosaurs' time.

Read More: Calcium News and Calcium Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.