From life cycle assessment to optimal supply chains of CO $_{2}$ mineralization

  • Von der Lebenszyklusanalyse zu optimalen Wertschöpfungsketten für CO $_{2}$ Mineralisierung

Ostovari, Hesam; Bardow, André (Thesis advisor); Aßen, Niklas von der (Thesis advisor); Ramirez, Andrea Ramirez (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2023)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2023


Substantial reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires a portfolio of GHG mitigation approaches, from renewable energy to CO2 capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). CO2 mineralization enables not only storing CO2 permanently in stable solids but also yielding products that can be utilized, e.g., in the cement industry. Yet, energy-intensive processes and auxiliary materials are required to overcome the slow reaction kinetics of CO2 mineralization. The energy and material demands of CO2 mineralization are challenging its promising potential. Thus, to understand the potential of CO2 mineralization for GHG mitigation, a systematic assessment is required. For this purpose, we apply a four-step assessment to investigate CCUS by mineralization moving from a stand-alone plant to large-scale supply chains.In the first assessment step, we systematically analyze the climate potential of several stand-alone CCUS by mineralization pathways using life cycle assessment (LCA). The results show that, besides permanent storage of CO2, the utilization of mineralization products is essential for the climate benefits. Thus, in the second assessment step, we analyze the application of CO2 mineralization to reduce the carbon footprint of cement. We propose three configurations to combine CO2 mineralization with cement production and analyze the carbon footprint of the resulting cement. Our results conclude that combining cement production and CO2 mineralization could substantially reduce cement’s carbon footprint. Since CO2 mineralization has a large GHG mitigation potential for both stand-alone and combined plants, large-scale implementation of CO2 mineralization could be environmentally beneficial. Thus, we assess its large-scale GHG mitigation potential in the third assessment step. For this purpose, we design climate-optimal supply chains for CCUS by mineralization. Our results show that such supply chains could reduce the GHG emission of the industry in Europe by 24 % even based on the current energy mix. Realizing the large-scale potential requires a significant financial investment. Thus, the fourth assessment step investigates the large-scale economics of CO2 mineralization. For this purpose, we design and analyze cost-optimal supply chains for CCUS by mineralization. We conclude that cost-optimal supply chains for CCUS by mineralization in Europe could reduce 11 % of industrial emissions at a competitive cost. Our assessments show that CCUS by mineralization could substantially reduce GHG emissions. Our results can guide the research agenda and policymaking toward further development and subsequent implementation of CO2 mineralization.


  • Chair and Institute of Technical Thermodynamics [412110]