Carbon Capture Machine
Mohammed Imbabi and Fred Glasser lead a multi-disciplinary research group that has contributed to the development of novel Precipitated Magnesium Carbonate (PMC) cements and products from desalination brine that are ~ 32 %wt CO2 and > 50 %wt CO2 + H2O. They have also developed a completely original and novel process to selectively precipitate high value Precipitated Calcium Carbonates (PCCs), PMC and other useful carbonates, such as monohydrocalcite (mhc) from stack CO2 emissions and formation (and other) brines. These important discoveries are the basis of a potent new, practically useful and affordable Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) technology that is embodied in the Carbon Capture Machine (CCM) concept that is being taken forward through the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize competition that we are committed to winning.
Our involvement in the competition has galvanized the CCM team internally through new multi-disciplinary collaborations between the Schools of Engineering and Natural and Computing Science and the Business School, revealing new strengths and hitherto undiscovered synergies that are spurring new advances and understanding. It has also led to academic – industry cooperation, with companies of the stature of Graham Engineering (Calgary, Canada), Lafarge North America and parent company LafargeHolcim (Zurich, Switzerland), and Omya A.G. (Oftringen, Switzerland) joining Team CCM. This initiative has stimulated interdisciplinary research regarding national policy responses to international treaties, including an application for the prestigious Royal Society Apex Award in support of new research, and recruitment of two doctoral students, and a planned international conference on CCU in 2019.
Anticipated future impacts, if we are successful, range from winning the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize, creating new industries, generating employment and wealth, and most important of all presenting humanity with a solution to one of the world’s most pressing, intractable problems, the carbon emissions that are driving climate change.
Our research in the field of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) has led to the development of processes and products that yield high economic value, by (i) replacing other carbon intensive materials and products, and (ii) creating greater value by converting “wastes” into useful products. The challenge was to deliver processes and products that are technically and economically viable, and in perpetual high demand. We believe that we have succeeded and that the time has come to test our conviction.
The CCMs that will be demonstrated and commercialised through the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize competition dissolve CO2 flue gas directly into slightly alkaline water, that is then faced with a suitable brine source containing dissolved Ca and Mg ions as found in connate formation and produced (and other) abundantly available waters. A novel multi-stage precipitation technology will be used to separate and produce nearly insoluble Ca and Mg carbonate minerals that have useful properties, and hence commercial value in existing established and new markets. NaCl, if present, is easily excluded from the final products.
The simplicity and reliability of our process, its superiority compared to other CCU processes, its ability to use standard, off-the-shelf components, and low capital investment needs make this technology peerless.
About Team Leader
University of Aberdeen
Mohammed Imbabi (TL)
Omya A G