Researchers in the UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have developed a novel process cycle to separate and enrich divalent cations such Ca2+ and Mg2+ from high salinity brine solutions for CO2 mineralization.
Mineralization is a stable and environmentally friendly method for sequestering CO2, yet the mineralization process is economically challenging due to the large amount of chemicals that it consumes. Furthermore, although brine waste streams possess relatively high amounts of divalent cations such as Ca2+ and Mg2+ that are amenable to carbonation (reacting with CO2 to produce carbonates), carbonation of such streams has not been heavily studied, in part due to the streams’ high salinity. Thus, CO2 mineralization that requires minimal chemical input, effectively uptakes desired chemicals from waste streams, and yields high quantities of valuable carbonate byproducts is desirable.
Researchers in the UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have developed a novel process cycle to selectively separate and enrich divalent cations such Ca2+ and Mg2+ from high salinity brine solutions for CO2 mineralization. Unlike mineralization processes which require large amounts of alkaline buffer, the current process allows for critical processing reagents to be recycled, thereby minimizing operational costs. Additionally, the current process serves as a pretreatment for brine waste, which may subsequently undergo further purification. The process does not require energy-intensive material processing steps, and it generates valuable carbonate byproducts with industrial applications ranging from sealants and adhesives to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
CO2 capture; CO2 storage; CO2 sequestration; CO2 mineralization; brine waste stream; divalent cations; carbonate byproducts