Carbonate chemistry for sequestering fossil carbon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

284 Scopus citations


Fossil fuels play a crucial role in satisfying growing world energy mands, but their continued use could cause irreparable harm to the environment. Unless virtually all anthropogenic carbon dioxide is captured, either at the source or subsequently from the air, and disposed of safely and permanently, fossil fuels may have to be phased out over the next few decades. Sequestration of waste carbon dioxide will require methods that can safely store several trillion tons of carbon dioxide. Long-term storage of a gaseous substance is fraught with uncertainty and hazards, but carbonate chemistry offers permanent solutions to the disposal problem. Carbonates can be formed from carbon dioxide and metal oxides in reactions that are thermodynamically favored and exothermic, which result in materials that can be safely and permanently kept out of the active carbon stocks in the environment. Carbonate sequestration methods require the development of an extractive minerals industry that provides the base ions for neutralizing carbonic acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-232
Number of pages40
JournalAnnual Review of Energy and the Environment
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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