Advantages and Disadvantages of Mineral Sequestration
The major advantages of CO2 sequestration by mineral carbonation are:
Long Term Stability - Mineral carbonation is a natural process that is known to produce environmentally safe and stable material over geological time frames. The production of mineral carbonates insures a permanent fixation rather than temporary storage of the CO2, thereby guaranteeing no legacy issues for future generations.
Vast Capacity - Raw materials for binding the CO2 exist in vast quantities across the globe. Readily accessible deposits exist in quantities that far exceed even the most optimistic estimate of coal reserves (~10,000 109 tons).
Potential to be Economically Viable - The overall process is exothermic and, hence, has the potential to be economically viable. In addition, its potential to produce value-added by-products during the carbonation process may further compensate its costs. At a single site and scale that is consistent with current industrial practice, the process can handle the output of one to several large power plants. It is directly applicable to advanced power plants such as zero-emissions Vision 21 system configurations being developed by DOEs Fossil Energy Program or to existing power plants, thereby providing an additional degree of flexibility for future implementation.
Carbonation plant must be at the site of the mine due to the large volumes of material required.
Volumes increase upon carbonation so in order to store the newly formed carbonates back in the mine some terrain alteration will be necessary.
Extensive mining operations necessary, which will have environmental impact.
There is the potential for asbestos to be present in the mineral deposit.
Must be able to deal with ore impurities.