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Researchers tap into CO2 storage potential of mine waste
Date:11/15/2012

outham's UWO research group is studying the role of microbes in fixing CO2 and precipitating carbonate minerals, in particular as sedimentary rock. They are also working on methods to accelerate this process.

Another important goal is to use computer modeling to predict the sequestration potential of rocks at specific mining sites. To that end, Hitch is designing a way to use mining planning software to put a dollar value on the amount of SP rock that could be obtained at particular locations. These data, coupled with Mayer's modeling of CO2 uptake in mine wastes at the environmental and climate conditions of specific mine sites, could allow for comprehensive evaluation of CO2 fixation capacity and rate for individual mine sites around the world.

"None of this (work) is done in isolation," notes Hitch, adding that carbon management is not an easy solution. "It requires lots of different perspectives and lots of different skill sets," he says.

The safe storage of CO2 in mine waste and tailings for thousands of years is an exciting idea that could refresh the public image of the mining industry. One day, Hitch and his colleagues add, research findings from mining could even be applied to CO2 sequestration projects underground and in marine basins.


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Contact: Ruth Klinkhammer
ruth.klinkhammer@cmc-nce.ca
403-210-7879
Carbon Management Canada
Source:Eurekalert

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