Longlist of olivine applications

Some years ago we developed this extensive list.
The list forms a basis for the "Cook Book" (to become published soon).
Some ideas where selected for prototyping, others merit special attention because of additional benefits.

IdeasLonglist of thinkable olivine applications
1 aSpreading of fine-grained olivine over farmland and meadows.
1 bSpreading of fine-grained olivine over land (in de wet tropics)
2Spreading of fine-grained olivine in gardens and parcs.
3Spreading of olivine over beaches and shallow coastal seas.
4Application of crushed olivine as a substitute for gravel on tennis courts, and as fine-grained olivine on golf courses and sport fields.
5Use of olivine grit in roof covering, use of olivine pebbles as ballast on roofs, and use of fine-grained olivine in the substrate for roof gardens, including sedum.
6The Green Highway. Use of olivine in highways. Another application is the use of fine-grained olivine in sound walls and roadsides along highways;
7Use of olivine grit on icy roads, instead of salt or normal grit.
8Use of olivine in railways. One application is to use olivine pebbles as ballast;The other is as olivine grit on the pathways along the railways.
9Use of olivine in concrete. This project is partly implemented and the first olivine concrete is commercially available (Geelen Beton). Already implemented.
10Study of the interaction of olivine with sea water in an olivine reactor, a long box filled with olivine, constructed perpendicular to the coast between the ebb line and the high tide line.
11Use of olivine sand instead of quartz sand for sand suppletion over beaches.
12Use of olivine rocks in breakwaters and weirs, the breakwaters may self-cement by precipitation of carbonates.
13Use of olivine deposited on the sea floor to form artificial reefs, both as a niche for animal life as well as protection of the coast;
14Use of olivine in weirs and dykes along rivers. Also here self-cementing (see 12) may have an annealing effect.
15Use of olivine suspensions to reduce CO2 levels in buildings, thus serving to remediate the “sick building” syndrome. CATO.
16Addition of olivine powder to composting installations to trap CO2.
17Addition of olivine powder to digesters.
18North Cape Minerals,has developed micropellets of olivine powder. These could be used as filter sand in Urban Waste Treatment Plants (rwzi) instead of sand filters.
19Use of olivine instead of quartz in sandblasting, primarily focused on the prevention of silicosis. Already implemented.
20The olivine hills. It is proposed to erect hills of fine-grained olivine in highly visible locations in and around cities to provide a symbol for people.
21Capture of CO2 from stack gases of coal fired power plants, oil refineries and cement factories, not as a gas but as a solid magnesium carbonate.
22Use of salt caverns. In several locations in the Netherlands, rock salt is produced by solution mining. This leaves caverns in the subsoil, which must remain filled with saturated brine to prevent subsidence, or even collapse. It is proposed to fill these with ground olivine.
23Fire fighting.
24Study on the feasibility of transport of CO2 by LNG tankers on their return trip to the Persian Gulf, to be injected in Oman in shallow boreholes in the largest massif of olivine rocks on Earth. To be taken up by Shell.
25Reconnaissance studies of suitable olivine rock deposits in tropical countries, as well as the local logistics of transport and spreading. The World Bank has appointed a representative of their Ghana office to act as liaison officer for olivine mining in West Africa.
26Establishing contacts with mining companies operating in countries with suitable olivine rocks, and financing initial feasibility studies. These companies are best equipped to operate olivine mines in those countries, and could also be in charge of milling, transport and distribution.
27In a number of countries, amongst others New Caledonia, Philippines, Indonesia and Cuba, the weathering residue above olivine rich rocks is mined for its nickel content. Contacts must be established with the mining companies involved.
28Study of deeply weathered dunites. During weathering, the major elements magnesium and silicium, which together make up 90% of the rock are leached. Thus one meter of the iron-rich residue represents 10 meter of original rock. By combining the information on the age of formation of the rock with data on the thickness of the layer of dunite removed during weathering, minimal rates of weathering under tropical conditions are determined. Thickness of dunite removed, divided by age minimum rate of weathering and consequent CO2 uptake.
29Determination of the conditions under which slow deep weathering of olivine rocks produces methane by the reaction of CO2 + water with the FeO compound of the olivine. Reaction: CO2 + 2 H2O + 12 FeO 4 Fe3O4 + CH4). In several places on Earth this reaction is observed, among others Turkey, where it is called Yanartasi (the rock that always burns) and in the Philippines, where it is called los Fuegos Eternos (the eternal fires). If these conditions can be imposed on a system, it may become possible to form and recover abiogenic natural gas, while at the same time CO2 is rendered harmless as bicarbonate
30Olivine spreading in a small watershed in a tropical country to study the rate of weathering under natural conditions. It is presently investigated whether such a site can be found near an Iatropha plantation for biofuel set up by a Dutch Company in Tanzania .
31 If, next to an olivine mine overlain by a nickel laterite, a thick bed of crushed laterite mixed with olivine powder is constructed, and planted with Ni-accumulating plants, several hundred US$ worth of nickel per hectare can be recovered annually. Thus, energy required for metallurgical nickel extraction is saved. At the same time, the weathering of the olivine captures CO2.
32 aDistribution and rate of weathering of other rock types (e.g.alkali basalts, nepheline syenites, anorthosites, kimberlites). that capture CO2 during weathering in areas that are far removed from suitable olivine rock deposits. Some studies have already been undertaken on the direct injection of CO2 in flood basalts in Oregon, USA, and in the Deccan Traps in India.
32 bIn certain areas, the Earth releases continuously large volumes of almost pure CO2 A case in point is near the Greek island of Milos, where annually 2.2 million tons of CO2 bubble out of the seafloor. If one would make an olivine seamount over a very active emission point, a carbonation reaction would be set in motion, and the pH of the seawater would locally be improved. It could act as a geo-experimental model for supergreen energy (project no. 21).
33Some years ago a study by scientists from the Wageningen University published in NATURE, discussed the attack and dissolution of rocks by microbes and fungi. This may play a major role in the discrepancy between observed high rates of weathering under natural conditons, and low rates of weathering in laboratory experiments. Such a study with emphasis on CO2 sequestration should be carried out by Wageningen University.
34Health effects of magnesium bicarbonate waters. The final products of the weathering of olivine are waters rich in magnesium and bicarbonate. According to a report of the FAO, such mineral waters help to prevent cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and a deficiency of magnesium causes premature aging. Some epidemiological studies should be carried out on patterns of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes among populations living on olivine rich rocks, to be compared with similar populations living on a different geological substrate.
35Mitigation and adaptation. Countries like Bangladesh are subjected to catastrophic inundations, costing many lives. Life in Bangladesh is further complicated, because the ground water in many places contains very high concentrations of arsenic, and drinking surface water leads to cholera epidemics. Olivine hills constructed in villages threatened by inundations would provide safe drinking water in normal times, and serve as a refuge for the population in times of flooding.
36Phosphate ores are treated with sulfuric acid to recover the phosphoric acid. This leaves huge acid waste ponds, with a high concentration of phosphate. If these ponds are treated with olivine, the acid is neutralized, and the remaining phosphate can be recovered as newberyite (MgHPO4.3H2O) and struvite (NH4MgPO4.6H2O), both suitable fertilizers. Moreover, while the pH is raised above a pH of 8, these waters will store large volumes of CO2 as bicarbonate.
37Huge volumes of bauxite are mined. The aluminium ore is treated with hot caustic soda in order to separate the alumina from the iron. The iron remains as a very alkaline red sludge (pH > 12), and is stored in ponds, containing hundreds of millions tons of toxic, alkaline red mud. Alkaline materials can absorb CO2. The red mud is detoxified, while it captures CO2 at the same time by the reaction: OH- + CO2 HCO3-. (Initial study 300,000 euros; it is hoped that the alumina industry will support subsequent studies)