An Australian company, Mineral Carbonation International (MCI), had announced an initiative last year with the aim to capture carbon emissions and store them in building materials. The company, specialising in developing carbon utilisation technologies, has estimated 9 million dollars over the next four years as the cost for the project. The technology and research programme was launched at the end of August 2017 at the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources.
Mineral Carbonation International said, “This mimics but greatly speeds up the natural weathering by rainfall which produces common types of rocks over millions of years. These carbonates and silica by-products have the potential to be used in building products such as concrete and plasterboard to create green construction materials.”
The target for the company is to be able to produce 20,000 to 50,000 tonnes of ‘green’ concrete for construction companies by 2020 as they hope that the product is economically viable.
Marcus Dawe, Chief Executive of MCI is pretty optimistic that the big firms and studios striving to make a difference would consider their product for their projects. Talking about this venture, he remarked that serpentinite which would be used to absorb the carbon dioxide, is a readily available material all over the world.
Although the concerns revolve around the mining of the substance that might be of environmental concerns, Dawe says, “Nowhere in the world had anyone scaled up enough to create enough material to give to manufacturers, to experiment and test them and find out what products they can make from them.”