Shah Nawaz Ahmad | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 16/01/2024
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Shah Nawaz Ahmad. This seminar is open to the general public to attend:

Meeting ID: 913 9617 6723 Passcode: 604814

Thesis Topic: Life Cycle GHG Emissions of Mineralization and Carbon Utilization Research Perspectives: Modelling and Stakeholder Elicitation

PhD with Drs. John Wolodko and David Bressler.

Seminar Abstract:

A recent International Panel on Climate Change report indicates that a rise of global mean surface temperature by 1.5ºC is expected to place increased risk on health, food security and climate. Carbon capture utilization (CCU) is a climate mitigation strategy where CO2 is converted into products, such as fuels, chemicals and materials, as opposed to carbon capture storage (CCS) which permanently sequesters it. One such technology is mineralization, whereby a reaction between metal oxides containing mineral and CO2 form insoluble mineral carbonates. The overall aim of this study is to show the differences between CCS and CCU and characterize GHG emissions of mineralization along with their market barriers and opportunities.

In the first study, a comparison of the evolution and parallels between CCU and carbon capture and storage (CCS) is made in terms of research and industry. This was carried out using a bibliometric analysis to assess the state of the art in the CCS & CCU field, co-citations, co-authorships, temporal distribution and highly cited publications in CCS & CCU. The bibliometric analysis is combined with a meta-review of four topical areas- policy, technology, environment and economy, and industry project data. It was found that CCS research shows greater prevalence than CCU. While the policy field also shows fewer records compared to other fields. Additionally, it was found that compared to CCS, CCU showed fewer clusters and mature topics were noticeable in later maps. Thus, it is anticipated that further clustering will occur over time, as the sector becomes more mature and specific technologies dominate the literature

The second part of this research used a life cycle GHG framework and model for CCU technologies to develop a consistent methodology to compare across pathways. The effectiveness of GHG reduction potential is often difficult to assess and compare due to differences in conversion processes, boundaries, product streams and other factors. These factors are addressed by this research. Specifically, the CCU technologies are assessed using four assessment metrics: kgCO2equivalents per kgCO2converted, kgCO2equivalents per kg or megajoule (MJ) of product, CO2 avoided emissions and global emission reduction potential. Compared to other technologies and incumbents, CO2 mineralization technologies offer the most significant GHG emission reduction potential, that being between -0.68kgCO2eq/kgCO2Converted and -0.35 kgCO2eq/kgCO2Converted. Additional sensitivity factors are determined for mineralization technologies including energy source, life cycle stages and amount of cement replaced.

The third part of this research examines the benefits and barriers of mineralization technologies in Alberta. Six stakeholder groups were interviewed: building and construction contractors, CCU technology developers, service providers, governmental organizations, cement and concrete companies, and industry associations. Results were coded into five categories: individual and company background, relevant areas of work, areas of opportunity, benefits of mineralization, and challenges of mineralization. Five themes were identified: carbon emissions, technology development, competition/collaboration, policy/lobbying, and risk & uncertainty. Mineralization was recognized for its carbon emission reduction potential, however risk with lack of disclosure and challenges with policy structures were in the top 10 most abundant codes. The results from this research provides a tool for stakeholders to model GHG emissions, characterizes the risks and challenges faced by these technologies, and contributes knowledge of CCU and CCS fields.