Carbon Management Canada has awarded a total of $3.75 million to eight new research projects. John Wen is participating in two projects investigating the Carbon mineralization in mine wastes and the geological sequestration of supercritical CO2. Please find project descriptions below.
Project: Accelerating carbon mineralization in mine wastes
Lead Investigator: Greg Dipple, University of British Columbia (UBC)
Co-PIs: Michael Hitch, UBC; Ulrich Mayer, UBC; Gordon Southam, U of Western Ontario; Siobhan Wilson, Monash University (Australia); John Wen, U of Waterloo; Murray Thomson, U of Toronto
CMC Investment: $600,000/3 years
The long-term goal of the carbon mineralization project is to develop methods for accelerating carbon sequestration within mine waste and, through partnership with industry, establish a demonstration project for carbon mineralization.
Many mines produce waste capable of storing CO2 but passive fixation rates from the atmosphere are generally slow (50,000 tonnes CO2 per year or less per mine site). By increasing the level of CO2 in gas streams, the research team can accelerate mineralization in hard rock mine waste and tailings. The team projects that direct capture at remote mine sites could lead to carbon fixation rates of ~0.25 million tonnes CO2 per year at a large mine, while coupling industrial CO2 streams proximal to more accessible mine sites could lead to carbon fixation rates of ~1 million tonnes per year at a single site.
Project: Physical-chemical response to geomechanical processes during geological sequestration of scCO2
Lead Investigator: Dr. Giovanni Grasselli, University of Toronto
Co-PIs: Aimy Bazylak, U of Toronto; Patrick Selvadurai, McGill University; Subhasis Ghoshal, McGill University; Alfonso Mucci, McGill University; David Cole, Ohio State University; John Wen, U Waterloo, Carolyn Ren, U Waterloo, Janusz Kozinski, York University; Morris Flynn, U of Alberta.
CMC Investment: $750,000/3 years
Presently, CO2 numerical simulations focus on just two processes, hydro and chemical, which often disregards the effect of mechanical stresses and geometry of the geological formations where CO2 is stored. Researchers on this project are working to provide a more complete picture of how injected CO2 interacts and influences complex geological formations.
Through this project, scientists will develop a computational system that incorporates micro-scale level thermo, hydro, mechanical and chemical (THMC) processes that occur when CO2 is injected into geologic rock formations. This system will be used to estimate large-scale processes such as the rates at which CO2 can be injected without compromising the storage integrity of the host rock formation, the nature and extent of the stable plumes that develop as injection proceeds for several decades, and their possible interaction with potable groundwater systems.
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