• UT Austin PI: Estibalitz Ukar
  • CO-PIs: Alexandros Savvaidis, Jean-Philippe Nicot, András FALL, Julia Gale, Katherine D. Romanak, Nicola Tisato, Marc Hesse, Ann Chen, Nicolas Espinoza, Silviu Livescu, Peter Kelemen, James Andrew M. Leong, Jacob A. Tielke, Christine McCarthy, Anna Harrison, Arthur Stokreef
  • Collaborating Institutions: Columbia University and Canada Nickel Company
  • Funding Source: Dept. of Energy
  • Award: $6.3M (UT Share $5.57M)
  • Award Date: 01/2023- 12/2025

This research will conduct an in-situ injection of CO2 dissolved in water to (1) permanently sequester CO2 via carbon-negative reactions (carbon mineralization), (2) chemically fracture the rock via reaction-driven cracking before mining to reduce extraction and comminution energy by at least 50%, (3) replace the CO2-reactive rock waste with carbonate to reduce energy needed for separation, improve concentrate grade, and increase ore recovery, and (4) expand the lifespan of the mine as a CO2 sink once the ore is exhausted. The methodology applies to ultramafic rock-hosted mining operations worldwide, is easily scalable, and can be combined with chemical enhancement and subsequent ex-situ carbonation steps to maximize CO2 sequestration and critical mineral yield to combat climate change and secure the U. S. critical mineral supply.