Guiding Mineralization Process Development with Geochemical Modelling
11 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2019 Last revised: 27 Oct 2020
Mineralization is a CO2 utilization solution that can possibly meet all the CO2 mitigation criteria stated by the International Energy Agency, namely CO2 emissions reduction, economic self-sufficiency and scalability. Considered as a global niche markets solution, mineralization process development is particularly challenging, as its scope is territory dependent and combines feedstock selection, mineralization technology and undisruptive product valorization through local materials supply chains. Identification of potential mineralization pathways is a definite challenge. This paper argues that geochemical modelling is an indispensable guiding tool for mineralization process development. Owing to its capacity to predict product speciation for complex mineralization systems, the paper discusses a number of issues that illustrate and confirm the value of geochemical modelling for feedstock selection, product valorization and process engineering. Supporting arguments are provided in the context of the valorization of Ni-slags from the New Caledonian metallurgical industry. It is concluded that geochemical modelling is an undisputed building block for developing and modelling any mineralization process. Moreover, the paper argues that the full potential of geochemical modelling for mineralization process design requires its merging with high-level decision-making frameworks, such as regionalized life cycle assessment.
Keywords: Mineralisation, GHGT-14, CO2 utilization, geochemical modelling, attrition-leaching, Nickel slags
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