Enhanced weathering for atmospheric CO2 removal

Project Details

Key Questions

For the weathering process, mild conditions (in terms of temperature and pressure) are preferred over escalated conditions in order to avoid prohibiting economic costs. However, this would result in a very low rate of conversion, making it difficult to become a significant contributor to CO2 sequestration. Therefore, the central research question here is how to enhance the weathering process without causing unacceptable consumption of energy and other resources.

Background

To combat climate change caused by the excessive presence of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, significant reduction of GHG emission needs to be combined with the removal of the existing GHGs (primarily CO2) from and the atmosphere. Removing CO2 from atmosphere through chemical reactions with minerals, referred to as the weathering process, is one of the so-called negative emission technologies that have been considered for stabilizing the atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Aims of the Project

This project is aimed to (1) develop chemical and biochemical processes that accelerate the dissolution of suitable virgin or waste minerals (including carbonates and silicates) and the capture of atmospheric CO2; and (2) assess the potential of such processes in different regions.

Methods to be used

The project will use mathematical modelling of physical, chemical and biological processes and life-cycle analysis (LCA) tools, possibly in collaboration with experimental research groups.

Specialised skills required

Skills for building and solving mechanistic mathematical models.

Please contact Aidong Yang on aidong.yang@eng.ox.ac.uk if you are interested in this project