Techno-economic assessment of indirect mineral carbonation routes for CO2 capture and utilisation

The cement industry is a large emitter of CO2 emissions and is one of the industries that will drastically need to reduce its emissions if we are to reach climate targets. At the same time, it is a commodity industry, where competition is mostly based on lowest price (and thus reduced costs), and where investments into CO2 mitigation technologies may pose a large risk to cement companies. An alternative would be to capture the CO2 from cement plants to produce a potentially marketable product, preferably a product that can partially replace cement or concrete components. This would be a form of so-called CO2 utilisation.

This projects aims at investigating the techno-economic feasibility of a specific process for CO2 capture and utilisation for cement plants. It addresses an indirect mineral carbonation route that uses rocky sediments that take up CO2, and can potentially be used to partially replace components of cement blends. We currently have a techno-economic model for a direct carbonation process, and are looking to extend this to an indirect carbonation process.

The project includes developing an integrated technical and economic model of this indirect carbonation process. This can be based on the existing direct carbonation model, or build from scratch, according to the wishes of the student. Elements include modelling the reactions, yields and selectivity of the process, scaling the process and equipment to a size representative of commercial operation, and costing the different pieces of equipment in the plant. Since the direct carbonation model is written in Matlab, it would be preferable to also use Matlab for this project.

Student requirements:
- keen interest in decarbonisation
- interest in modelling and analysis of processes and systems at the plant level
- programming experience in Matlab, or keen to quickly develop this
- keen to work towards solid research results

Supervisor name: 
Mijndert van der Spek
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses: 
m.van_der_spek@hw.ac.uk; p.renforth@hw.ac.uk

Project Type:

Project location: 
Desk based at Edinburgh campus
Deputy name: 
Phil Renforth