Carbon mineralization using plagioclase feldspar-rich mine tailings: characterization and cation extraction

11 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2021

See all articles by Caleb Woodall

Caleb Woodall

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Noah McQueen

University of Pennsylvania

Jennifer Wilcox

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 15, 2021

Abstract

The possibility to capture and store CO2 in mine tailings has gained significant traction as a viable climate mitigation technique. The mineralogy and chemistry of mine tailings can vary drastically depending on the type of mine and local geology. Tailings from Sibanye-Stillwater, a mine in Nye, Montana, USA that produces nickel, copper and platinum group metals (PGM), possess sufficient calcium and magnesium to store CO2. However, efficient CO2 storage is a difficult task due to the heterogeneous mineralogy of the tailings. This study involved using the Alternative ÅA Route to efficiently extract calcium and magnesium from the Sibanye-Stillwater tailings. At optimized conditions (45o oC, 30 min), about 39% of the Mg and 15% of the Ca in the tailings were extracted. While the Alternative ÅA Route proved successful in extracting phyllosilicate-bound magnesium, it was ineffective in extracting calcium from the tailings, which is mostly present in the form of plagioclase feldspar. Further studies aimed at targeting calcium extraction while maintaining or increasing magnesium extraction will be necessary to realize the full potential of CO2 storage in the Sibanye-Stillwater tailings.

Keywords: carbon mineralization, platinum group metals, climate change, alkalinity extraction, mine tailings

Suggested Citation

Woodall, Caleb and McQueen, Noah and Wilcox, Jennifer, Carbon mineralization using plagioclase feldspar-rich mine tailings: characterization and cation extraction (March 15, 2021). Proceedings of the 15th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference 15-18 March 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3820013 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3820013

Caleb Woodall (Contact Author)

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

100 Institute Rd
Worcester, MA 01609
United States

Noah McQueen

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

220 S 33rd St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Jennifer Wilcox

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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