Taking into account the reactivity of CO2 to minerals existing in specific wastes, the RICH center is working on the concept from waste-to-materials, in order to convert CO2, reacting with waste, into added value products. Work in progress at RICH is related to the utilization of steel slag and desalination brine wastes to convert CO2 into highly durable construction materials and into sodium bicarbonate. The current research interests of these projects are to study the crystal structure and the mechanical properties of steel slag and slag based construction materials upon accelerated mineral carbonation as well as optimizing the chemical process which uses desalination brine to convert CO2 into useful commercial products such as sodium bicarbonate.
Some of the facilities and tools in the center for CO2 conversion to construction materials and bicarbonates are:
- High pressure-high temperature reactors: SS 316, 1 L, up to 200 bar, up to 200°C non-stirred autoclaves: accelerated carbonation of slag based concrete blocks.
- Humidity chamber: -40 to 150 oC, construction materials pre-curing.
- Ofite compressive strength tester: 2” x 2” x 2” specimens, maximum press capacity: 16,000 lbs.
- Mortar Mixer ToniMIX: for mixing construction materials slurries
- Stopped flow meter SF-61SX2: meter helps analyze the kinetics of reaction in the liquid phase.
- Stirred reactors: 500 ml, carbonation of desalination brine into bicarbonates.