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CO2 mineralization and utilization by alkaline solid wastes for potential carbon reduction


CO2 mineralization and utilization using alkaline solid wastes has been rapidly developed over the last ten years and is considered one of the promising technologies to stabilize solid wastes while combating global warming. Despite the publication of a number of reports evaluating the performance of the processes, no study on the estimation of the global CO2 reduction potential by CO2 mineralization and utilization using alkaline solid wastes has been reported. Here, we estimate global CO2 mitigation potentials facilitated by CO2 mineralization and utilization as a result of accelerated carbonation using various types of alkaline solid wastes in different regions of the world. We find that a substantial amount of CO2 (that is, 4.02 Gt per year) could be directly fixed and indirectly avoided by CO2 mineralization and utilization, corresponding to a reduction in global anthropogenic CO2 emissions of 12.5%. In particular, China exhibits the greatest potential worldwide to implement CO2 mineralization and utilization, where it would account for a notable reduction of up to 19.2% of China’s annual total emissions. Our study reveals that CO2 mineralization and utilization using alkaline solid wastes should be regarded as one of the essential green technologies in the portfolio of strategic global CO2 mitigation.

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Fig. 1: Estimates of global CO2 reduction by mineralization and utilization using alkaline solid wastes.
Fig. 2: Contribution by different alkaline solid wastes in global CO2 reduction.
Fig. 3: Summary of global CO2 reduction amounts by mineralization (direct) and utilization (indirect) of alkaline solid wastes.
Fig. 4: Shares of direct and indirect CO2 reduction by mineralization and utilization in annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (ROC) under Grant No. MOST-107-2917-I-564-043. S.-Y.P. also received financial support from the National Taiwan University under Grant No. 108L7410. H.K. was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning and the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy of the Republic of Korea under Grant No. 20173010092510.

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Authors and Affiliations



S.-Y.P. conceived and led the study. Y.-H.C., S.-L.P. and T.-C.L. provided data of alkaline waste production. L.-S.F., H.K., X.G., P.-C.C. and G.G. took part in the discussion of CO2 reduction potential. S.-Y.P. wrote the paper with input from all co-authors. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shu-Yuan Pan.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–2, Table 1 and references.

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Pan, SY., Chen, YH., Fan, LS. et al. CO2 mineralization and utilization by alkaline solid wastes for potential carbon reduction. Nat Sustain 3, 399–405 (2020).

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