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Article

Carbon Mineralization with North American PGM Mine Tailings—Characterization and Reactivity Analysis

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnical Institute, Worcester, MA 01609, USA
2
CarbMinLab, Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
3
Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Samintha Perera
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080844
Received: 7 July 2021 / Revised: 29 July 2021 / Accepted: 4 August 2021 / Published: 5 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CO2 Sequestration by Mineral Carbonation, Volume II)
Global efforts to combat climate change call for methods to capture and store CO2. Meanwhile, the global transition away from fossil energy will result in increased production of tailings (i.e., wastes) from the mining of nickel and platinum group metals (PGMs). Through carbon mineralization, CO2 can be permanently stored in calcium- and magnesium-bearing mine tailings. The Stillwater mine in Nye, Montana produces copper, nickel, and PGMs, along with 1 Mt of tailings each year. Stillwater tailings samples have been characterized, revealing that they contain a variety of mineral phases, most notably Ca-bearing plagioclase feldspar. Increases in inorganic carbon in the tailings and ion concentration in the tailings storage facilities suggest carbonation has taken place at ambient conditions over time within the tailings storage facilities. Two experiments were performed to simulate carbon mineralization at ambient temperature and pressure with elevated CO2 concentration (10% with N2), revealing that less than 1% of the silicate-bound calcium within the tailings is labile, or easily released from silicate structures at low-cost ambient conditions. The Stillwater tailings could be useful for developing strategies of waste management as production of nickel and PGM minerals increases during the global transition away from fossil energy, but further work is needed to develop a process that can realize their full carbon storage potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy; carbon dioxide; global warming; mineral sequestration of CO2; PGM mine tailings; anorthite energy; carbon dioxide; global warming; mineral sequestration of CO2; PGM mine tailings; anorthite
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MDPI and ACS Style

Woodall, C.M.; Lu, X.; Dipple, G.; Wilcox, J. Carbon Mineralization with North American PGM Mine Tailings—Characterization and Reactivity Analysis. Minerals 2021, 11, 844. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080844

AMA Style

Woodall CM, Lu X, Dipple G, Wilcox J. Carbon Mineralization with North American PGM Mine Tailings—Characterization and Reactivity Analysis. Minerals. 2021; 11(8):844. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080844

Chicago/Turabian Style

Woodall, Caleb M., Xueya Lu, Gregory Dipple, and Jennifer Wilcox. 2021. "Carbon Mineralization with North American PGM Mine Tailings—Characterization and Reactivity Analysis" Minerals 11, no. 8: 844. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080844

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