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Solutions Challenge: Greenhouse gases in developing economies

RockFix: Sequestering Carbon in Mine Tailings

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The team’s solution addresses the need for large-scale, low-cost carbon sequestration technologies to achieve the global 1.5˚C warming climate goal. By designing a technology into the mining process and partnering with major base metal mining companies, they look to provide a tool for developing and developed countries to reduce their net GHG emissions by capturing and sequestering CO2.

They are exploring how to catalyze and scale the natural weathering reaction that creates carbonate minerals from CO2. When Ca & Mg-rich rocks are exposed to water and air, they naturally decompose: CO2 in the air reacts into CaCO3 (i.e. Calcite in Limestone) or MgCO3 (Magnesite in Dolomite). These minerals also act as cementing agents, stabilizing mine tailings and reducing their risk of environmental spills. Their technology will catalyze the weathering process onto the huge quantity of highly-reactive, finely-ground (i.e. high surface area) tailings as they are generated.

Allen Liang (Ph.D., Chem)
Gus Marquez (MBA, GSB)
Melissa Zhang (MBA, GSB)
Tyler Hall (Ph.D., Geophysics)
Professor Rebecca Lester (GSB)

Awarded 2022
Solutions Challenge: Greenhouse gases in developing economies