The broader impacts/commercial potential of this I-Corps project will lead to identification of customer segments and delineation of the value proposition for introducing novel technologies to capture and convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to value-added products bearing inorganic carbonates. The use of alkaline industrial residues as a feedstock to the process will lead to the recycling and reuse of these materials and reduce the waste that needs to be landfilled. Multiple customer segments and industrial sectors including CO2 emitters and generators of alkaline industrial residues are expected to benefit from the implementation of this technology. Through the NSF I-Corps Program, the team will identify the immediate need for this technology and the economic advantages that their technology will bring to U.S. manufacturing.
This I-Corps project will result in significant insights into existing chemical and manufacturing processes for CO2 capture, conversion, and waste utilization. The technical challenges in existing processes, associated economics, and knowledge gaps in implementing novel processes for CO2 capture and utilization will be identified and discussed. The technology on which this project is based involves reacting alkaline industrial and mining residues and anthropogenic CO2 to produce value-added carbonate materials. These measurements occur at 25-75Â°C and involve the chemical solvents for CO2 capture. Preliminary research results show that high conversion of CO2 to calcium- and magnesium carbonates is achieved with internal chemical recycling of the solvent. In an alternative iteration, this approach can be used to chemically regenerate the solvent while producing useful products as opposed to thermal regeneration of the solvent. The morphologies of these carbonates can be tuned for specific applications including construction or filler materials.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.