Technology for green building materials

By Gemma Childe on 28th Aug 2013

Carbon dioxide emissions will be turned into carbonate rock "bricks" for use in the construction industry as building materials

Carbonate rock bricks for the construction industry are to be created from CO2 emissions captured via carbon capture technology in a new Australian pilot project.

The AUS $9m pilot plant for storing carbon emissions generated from fossil fuels and other industrial methods, is expected to be up and running by 2017.

It will be trialled at the mineral carbonation research pilot plant which will be built at the University of Newcastle and it aims to manage both carbon storage needs as well as introduce new green building materials.

The mineral carbonation technology replicates the Earth's carbon sink mechanism by combining CO2 with low grade minerals including magnesium to make inert carbonates. The solid products can be used in building materials like bricks and pavers.
Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski, a chemical engineer from the University's Priority Research Centre for Energy, said: "The key difference between geosequestration and ocean storage and our mineral carbonation model is we permanently transform CO2 into a usable product, not simply store it underground.”

Fellow professor, Eric Kennedy, said: "The Earth's natural mineral carbonation system is very slow. Our challenge is to speed up that process to prevent CO2 emissions accumulating in the air in a cost-effective way".