Cheap and simple!
One ton of olivine captures 1.25 ton of CO2. The reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere is an important political objective internationally. All over the world governments, scientists and industry are searching for solutions. World conferences are devoted to the subject: Kyoto, Rio de Janeiro, Bali, Copenhagen and Cancun. There are continuous arguments over national economic interests, and the possible solutions are expensive.
The Olivine Foundation has the solution. It advocates a relatively inexpensive approach copied from nature. If the mineral olivine comes into contact with water, air and warmth a geo-chemical conversion takes place during which CO2 is absorbed from the air. This has been happening for millions of years. Now that we have disturbed the natural CO2 balance we need to give nature a hand. By taking olivine out of the ground, crushing, grinding and spreading it out at the right place.
- A mineral found nearly everywhere in abundance
- The most important component of the earth’s crust
- Reacts with acids, including CO2
- Has properties similar to sand
- Often olive green, sometimes reddish
- Easy to mine, even in open cast mines
Playfully saving the world
Two birds with one (olivine) stone
Use olivine as a replacement for sand. Olivine has many of the properties of sand. This opens a world of opportunities: capture CO2 in the sandpit, on the tennis court and sports field, along the motorway and dikes, and so on.
Olivine keeps you warm
The reaction of olivine with water and CO2 is exothermic. Under the right conditions this heat can be used to produce electricity.
A better environment begins at home (and at work)
The high CO2 levels in public buildings can cause ‘sick building syndrome’. By circulating the air through vessels containing an olivine slurry the CO2 level can be reduced.
Don’t get left with the rest
Water rich in magnesium & bicarbonates is healthy, according to a report of the World Food Organisation. It helps prevent diabetes and heart & artery problems.
That’s fortunate: that water is a by-product of the olivine reaction.
Crushed minerals can be used to enrich the soil. Also olivine. It helps to reduce the pH (acid content) and to improve the soil structure. This is beneficial for the growth of plants that take up magnesium. Which is usually an advantage when they are consumed.
More birds with one (olivine) stone
Olivine and water combine well. Hence, olivine can be used as a sand-replacer on eroding beaches. It can also be used on the seabed for creating artificial reefs, and as a nursery bed for mussels, oysters & coral. And as the top layer of dikes, dams and breakwaters.
De chemical formula
Olivine, water and CO2 form harmless products: magnesium, bicarbonate and sand.
Mg2SiO4 (olivine) + 2 CO2 + H2O → 2 Mg2+ + 4 HCO3- + H4SiO4
Olivine is gaining ground
A wide variety of companies are adopting the approach and studying the possible applications. They are busy, among other things, with the production, application and distribution of:
- Artificial fertilizer
- Roofing material
- Garden earth improvers
- Railway maintenance material
- Road construction material
The government and policy makers, for inexplicable reasons, keep on delaying any decision. But the public authorities involved in implementation see the possibilities.
‘Rijkswaterstaat’ (Infrastructure authority) are carrying out a trial with motorway surfacing and are starting experiments in a seawater environment.
‘Waterschappen’ (Regional water control authorities) have begun to use olivine for waste water treatment.
Chances for olivine
- Applicable worldwide on a large scale
- No complex and expensive technology required
- Creates income and employment in developing countries
- Usable via a variety of processes and methods