From: Carbon Management Canada
Published May 6, 2013 09:41 AM

Webinar focuses on using hard rock mine waste to reduce CO2 emissions

What: Webinar on using hard rock mine waste to accelerate carbon mineralization
Who: Dr. Guy Mercier, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Quebec
Dr. Greg Dipple, University of British Columbia, British Columbia
When: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 1 pm MT
Cost: Free
To register:

Carbon Management Canada is hosting a webinar focusing on two carbon sequestration methods that involve waste rock from mines.

Featured speakers for the May 14 webinar are Dr. Greg Dipple, Department Head for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Guy Mercier, of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Quebec. Both researchers are working on enhancing carbonation processes and both are using waste rock from mines, albeit using very different processes.

Crushed rock in flue gas streams

Mercier is working with an international team of researchers to develop a process that would see steel, coal and cement plants as well as oil and gas facilities remove most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from their emissions through chemical reactions with various types of crushed rocks in the stacks. Waste materials, such as rock, concrete or mine tailings, are crushed into a powder form and then released into a plant’s flue gas stream. The resulting chemical reaction removes about 80% of the CO2. The resulting carbonate byproducts can be sold to a variety of industries for use as a refractory material or an alkaline agent in wastewater treatment.
“This will allow companies to profit while sequestering CO2, says Mercier.

Accelerated mineralization with mine tailings

Dipple and his colleagues are also using mine waste material to sequester CO2 but they are working with mine tailings in ponds. One area of investigation involves increasing the concentration of CO2 supplied to a slurry similar in chemical composition to tailing process water. Results show a 200-fold rate of increase over atmospheric weathering just by increasing the concentration of CO2 in the air passed through the slurry to 10%.

In a second approach Dipple’s team is using an enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, to catalyse the hydration of aqueous CO2 to a form that can be mineralized. Ultimately, the team plans to

combine both methods - higher concentrations of CO2 will be used with the enzyme – for a vastly accelerated mineralization process.
Dipple points out that in mine waste rock and tailings that are rich in magnesium silicate minerals, carbon fixation capacity is much larger than total greenhouse gas production from mine operations. Some large mines could therefore operate as net carbon sinks, turning their mine waste into a resource by absorbing the carbon dioxide emissions of other industries.

The webinar begins at 1 pm MT on May 14, 2013. To register for this free event go to:

For more information about the webinar contact Ruth Klinkhammer, Communications Director at

About Carbon Management Canada

Carbon Management Canada (CMC) is a national network headquartered at the University of Calgary that funds research and promotes the transfer to practice of knowledge and technologies to reduce CO2 emissions in the fossil energy industry and other large stationary emitters. CMC has over 160 investigators, network agreements with 27 Canadian universities, and has committed $22 million to 44 research projects.

Contact Info: Managing Director Richard Adamson at

Website : Carbon Management Canada

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