• Carbon dioxide sequestration by mineral carbonation of iron-bearing minerals

      Strongin, Daniel R.; Stanley, Robert J.; Wunder, Stephanie L.; Schoonen, Martin A. A., 1960- (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      Carbon dioxide (CO2) is formed when fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal are burned in power producing plants. CO2 is naturally found in the atmosphere as part of the carbon cycle, however it becomes a primary greenhouse gas when human activities disturb this natural balanced cycle by increasing levels in the atmosphere. In light of this fact, greenhouse gas mitigation strategies have garnered a lot of attention. Carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) has emerged as a possible strategy to limit CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. The technology involves capturing CO2 at the point sources, using it for other markets or transporting to geological formations for safe storage. This thesis aims to understand and probe the chemistry of the reactions between CO2 and iron-bearing sediments to ensure secure storage for millennia. The dissertation work presented here focused on trapping CO2 as a carbonate mineral as a permanent and secure method of CO2 storage. The research also explored the use of iron-bearing minerals found in the geological subsurface as candidates for trapping CO2 and sulfide gas mixtures as siderite (FeCO3) and iron sulfides. Carbon dioxide sequestration via the use of sulfide reductants of the iron oxyhydroxide polymorphs lepidocrocite, goethite and akaganeite with supercritical CO2 (scCO2) was investigated using in situ attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The exposure of the different iron oxyhydroxides to aqueous sulfide in contact with scCO2 at ~70-100 ˚C resulted in the partial transformation of the minerals to siderite (FeCO3). The order of mineral reactivity with regard to siderite formation in the scCO2/sulfide environment was goethite < lepidocrocite ≤ akaganéite. Overall, the results suggested that the carbonation of lepidocrocite and akaganéite with a CO2 waste stream containing ~1-5% H2S would sequester both the carbon and sulfide efficiently. Hence, it might be possible to develop a process that could be associated with large CO2 point sources in locations without suitable sedimentary strata for subsurface sequestration. This thesis also investigates the effect of salinity on the reactions between a ferric-bearing oxide phase, aqueous sulfide, and scCO2. ATR-FTIR was again used as an in situ probe to follow product formation in the reaction environment. X-ray diffraction along with Rietveld refinement was used to determine the relative proportion of solid product phases. ATR-FTIR results showed the evolution of siderite (FeCO3) in solutions containing NaCl(aq) concentrations that varied from 0.10 to 4.0 M. The yield of siderite was greatest under solution ionic strength conditions associated with NaCl(aq) concentrations of 0.1-1 M (siderite yield 40% of solid product) and lowest at the highest ionic strength achieved with 4 M NaCl(aq) (20% of solid product). Based partly on thermochemical calculations, it is suggested that a decrease in the concentration of aqueous HCO3- and a corresponding increase in co-ion formation, (i.e., NaHCO3) with increasing NaCl(aq) concentration resulted in the decreasing yield of siderite product. At all the ionic strength conditions used in this study, the most abundant solid phase product present after reaction was hematite (Fe2O3) and pyrite (FeS2). The former product likely formed via dissolution/reprecipitation reactions, whereas the reductive dissolution of ferric iron by the aqueous sulfide likely preceded the formation of pyrite. These in situ experiments allowed the ability to follow the reaction chemistry between the iron oxyhr(oxide), aqueous sulfide and CO2 under conditions relevant to subsurface conditions. Furthermore, very important results from these small-scale experiments show this process can be a potentially superior and operable method for mitigating CO2 emissions.