Applied Mineralogy Group Open Geoscience Talks

The first in a new series of ‘Open Geoscience Talks’ hosted by the Applied Mineralogy group will take place on 26th November 2020 and will consist of a talk by Phil Renforth of Heriot-Watt University: “The potential of alkaline mineral materials for CO2 removal from the atmosphere”

Register here.


In addition to extensive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions we may also need to remove billions of tonnes of CO2 per year from the atmosphere to avoid dangerous climate change.  Alkaline materials are produced in numerous industries (cement, by-product slag from steel manufacturing, and red mud from aluminium production). These materials readily react with CO2 to form carbonate minerals, representing stable long-term storage. However, the potential of these materials to prevent climate change has been considered relatively minor because i) they are produced from emission intensive processes, ii) their carbonation potential can typically displace only a small proportion of these emissions, iii) fully exploiting the theoretical potential of current annual production may result in, at best, a total removal of <1 GtCO2 per year. Here I will present new modelling results which suggests that with increases in future material demand to meet a growing and developing global population, the carbon dioxide sequestration potential of alkaline materials may be several GtCO2 per year by 2100. However, to be able to exploit this we will need new research on how these materials react with CO2, we are only scratching the surface on the geochemical behaviour of these materials.

There is no charge to attend, but registration is required.