Atmospheric carbon dioxide sequestered as carbonates through the accelerated weathering of silicate minerals is proposed as a climate change mitigation technology with the potential to capture billions of tonnes of carbon per year. Although these materials can be mined expressly for carbonation, they are also produced by human activities (cement, iron and steel making, coal combustion, etc.). Despite their potential, there is poor global accounting of silicates produced in this way. This paper presents production estimates (by proxy) of various silicate materials including aggregate and mine waste, cement kiln dust, construction and demolition waste, iron and steel slag, and fuel ash. Approximately 7-17 billion tonnes are produced globally each year with an approximate annual sequestration potential of 190-332 million tonnes C. These estimates provide justification for additional research to accurately quantify the contemporary production of silicate minerals and to determine the location and carbon capture potential of historic material accumulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry