A research pilot plant in Newcastle will trial world-first technology that turns carbon emissions into bricks and pavers for the construction industry.
The mineral carbonation technology copies and accelerates the earth’s own way of sinking carbon.
The University of Newcastle, chemical giant Orica and carbon innovation company GreenMag Group have spent six years researching how to permanently and safely dispose of carbon dioxide.
Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) will spend $9 million over the next four years establishing the pilot plant at the University of Newcastle.
MCi chief executive Marcus St John Dawe says the solid product could be turned into various things including building materials.
“We could be making millions of tonnes of bricks and pavers which really could be green products for the future,” he said.
He says the project is about permanently transforming carbon dioxide, not just storing it in the ground.
Orica chief executive Ian Smith says the technology will enable every power station in the world to capture carbon dioxide emissions and turn them into rock.
He says the company is already capturing some of its CO2 emissions at its Kooragang Island plant.
“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.”