Enhancing Mg extraction from lizardite-rich serpentine for CO2 mineral sequestration

Carbon capture and storage by mineralisation (CCSM) is a promising technology that sequesters CO2 from flue gases into stable mineral carbonates. Although the development of indirect pH swing processes (dissolution at acid pH and carbonation at basic pH) able to recycle the chemicals used are promising, there are still limitations in reaction rate of mineral dissolution being slow in view of a large deployment of the technology. The extraction of Mg from lizardite using magnesium bisulphate has been studied as a function of temperature, reagent concentration, solid to liquid ratio, thermal and mechanical pre-activation. Although the overall highest Mg extraction (95%) was obtained after 3 h, the reduction of the dissolution time to 1 h can consistently reduce the volumes to be treated per unit time leading to low capital costs in a hypothetical mineralisation plant. About 80% of Mg was extracted from lizardite in 1 h at 140 degrees C, 2.8 M NH4HSO4, particles <250 mu m and a solid to liquid ratio of 100 g/l. At 140 degrees C, serpentine undergoes extensive structural modifications as indicated by XRD and FTIR analyses, producing amorphous silica and accelerating the kinetics of the reaction. Particles with diameter less than 250 mu m were obtained by grinding the lizardite at 925 rpm for 10 min consuming 33 kW h/t(rock). (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.