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A new pilot plant recently launched in Australia aims to combat global warming by converting carbon dioxide into bricks. The culmination of over six years’ effort by The University of Newcastle, the chemical company Orica, and GreenMag Group, the groundbreaking new facility could close carbon loops and divert the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.
When it comes to global warming, human beings are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, greenhouse gasses are inevitably pumped into the atmosphere through industry, power generation, and natural processes. On the other, emissions that contribute to climate change destabilize the systems on which people rely to survive. This new facility will hopefully change that.
The plant will be located at The University of Newcastle, and Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) is expected to spend $9 million over a period of four years to establish the facility. The bricks can be used as construction materials, and they act as physical carbon sinks. Ian Smith, the chief executive of Orica, told ABC News that he believes the technology could be used by power plants across the world.
“So this would enable, not just us as a company, but all the coal fired power stations around the world to be retrofitted so they can capture their CO2 off-take. It’s an alternative solution. If you look at just storing it underground that only works in certain geological formations.This can work wherever those power stations are.”
Other applications include utilizing the rock for street pavement and green construction. With CO2 levels having reached over 400 parts per million this year, this type of technology is critical to slowing the trend of global warming. Fifty carbon capture plants around the world could potentially sequester over a billion tons of CO2 annually.
Images via The University of Newcastle