Tailings used to strip CO2 in smoke stacks achieve 80 percent efficiency

Researchers are making progress removing CO2 in smokestacks using tailings from mines in Quebec, according to Carbon Management Canada.

Dr. Guy Mercier with the the Institut national de la recherche scientifique is developing a process that strips most of the carbon dioxide from steel, coal and cement plants through chemical reactions with various types of crushed rocks in the stacks.

"You take the waste material, the rock, concrete or mine tailings, and crush it to make a powder and then you send that powder up the chimney with the gas," says Mercier in a news release.

"The resulting chemical reaction removes 80 per cent of the CO2."

The carbonate byproduct produced by the process can be sold to a variety of different industries where it can be used as a refractory material or as an alcaline agent in wastewater treatment.

"This will allow companies to profit while sequestering CO2," says Mercier.

"It’s a lower cost, low pressure, low temperature technology that doesn’t require capturing purified CO2,” Mercier says.

Image by russteaches