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Climate co2 absorption  does a dutch professor have the answer  | Upload General

CO2 Absorption: Does A Dutch Professor Have The Answer?

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by: Joris Zuid
co2 absorption  does a dutch professor have the answer  | Upload

The world is desperately looking for safe and cost-effective solutions to counteract climate change by reducing the CO2 levels of the atmosphere. It looks ‘another’ good solution is found! How it’s named: Olivine.

Does This Professor Has The Solution For The Increasing CO2 And The Effects On Climate Change?

Olaf Schuiling, professor Geo Engineering at the University Utrecht (Netherlands) proposes Olivine. Olivine isn’t new. It is as old as the world, namely to use olivine or similar rocks not in a technology, but in the way it works in nature.
Olivine (Mg2SiO4) is the most common mineral on earth. Since the sixties professor Schuiling investigated the reaction between dissolved CO2 and Olivine. In addition, heat is released, and the CO2 binds to the innocent bicarbonate, which may be later precipitates as lime. Schuiling: "It is one of the easiest ways to capture CO2 from the air. It is a safe, natural and inexpensive process."

Olaf Schuiling

Olivine And Buildings And schools

The absorption of CO2 is optimal when the Olivine is crushed to sand. Scattering of the Olivine is possible in streets, green strips near roads and industrial sites, parks, gardens, beaches, and in the sandpits of schools. Olivine converts CO2 into calcium and so reduces CO2 in the air. "If the Olive grid is spread onto land and shallow water in the wet tropics, in a year about 20 percent of the CO2 will be weathered. When we repeat the process every year with 7 cubic kilometres of rock, we will compensate the whole human CO2 emissions."

CO2 Absorption Costs

The costs to dig and pulverize Olivine in tropical countries are about $ 6.5 per ton. If you assume that for the transportation and spreading another $ 6.5 per ton are needed, the costs are 13 USD per ton of olivine: about 10 USD per ton CO2.

Recommended: Climate Change Efforts On Reducing CO2 Why Not Recycle It?

Sediments And Olivine

Weathering of calcium and or magnesium silicate rock has kept the CO2 content of the atmosphere within reasonable bounds throughout geological history. Weathering is the neutralization of an acid (usually carbonic acid) by rocks, turning CO2 into the innocuous bicarbonate ion in solution. These bicarbonate solutions are carried by rivers to the sea, where they are ultimately deposited as limestones and dolomites. These carbonate sediments form the ultimate sink for CO2. They contain 1,500 times more CO2 than the amounts of CO2 in biomass, atmosphere and dissolved CO2 in the oceans combined.

Reduce CO2 Emissions

Two broad families of geo-engineering solutions have been proposed:

  • First is to alter the Earth’s thermal balance by reflecting more incident solar radiation out to space
  • Second is the direct removal of CO2 from the atmosphere

Both approaches have their place but note that the first category does not address the serious issue of ocean acidification (report). Accordingly it would be unwise to rely on enhanced reflectivity alone. Of the second category of geo engineering approaches, the most logical is to increase the rate of weathering since this is a natural process whose enhancement may be considered 'benign in principle'.
This can be done by mining abundantly available and easily weatherable rocks, milling them and spreading the grains over the surface of the land or in shallow seas. The olivine option is not so much a ‘technology’ in the classical sense, but more a general concept that can be applied in many sectors of society.

Recommended: Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants?

Projects based on enhanced weathering of olivine and related minerals have been formulated for agriculture, forestry, roads and biking paths, buildings, coastal defense, firefighting, playgrounds, suppression of poisonous dinoflagellate and cyanobacteria blooms, diatom farms for biodiesel production, mining, mineral waters, olivine as a green fuel, olivine in environmental applications, natural emissions of CO2 for carbon capture and miscellaneous.

Olivine In Silica

The solutions that are produced by the digestion of olivine grains are rich in silica, which is a limiting nutrient for diatoms. When silica becomes available in larger quantities, the diatom population will increase, providing food for fishes and birds further up the food chain.

CO2 Absorption Can Vary Greatly

Colleagues point out correctly that, as in nature, the rates and speed of the reaction of minerals like olivine can vary greatly in different situations found in the natural world. More work needs to be done to understand these processes. However, don’t mistake that for a reason for inaction, whilst we may be unsure of the absolute potential, we are sure that the potential is there.

Recommended: Renewable Energy Turns CO2 Into Fuel For Hydrogen Batteries

And, as in nature, with such a wide range of applications for weathering minerals in our human activities, virtually everybody can participate in their own field and help move these techniques forward in the fight to counteract climate change and ocean acidification. Combating climate change and building a sustainable future, there are a lot of interesting and potentially very helpful actions and developments to be embraced. And Olivine is one of them.

Olivine: Where Can It Be Found?

Olivine is a very common silicate mineral that occurs mostly in dark-coloured igneous rocks like peridotite and basalt. It is usually easily identifiable because of its bright green colour and glassy lustre.


                                                                                Identifying Olivine
                                                CO2 Absorption: Does A Dutch Professor Have The Answer?

Olivine is a common mineral in dark-coloured igneous rocks because these rocks are rich in iron and magnesium (rocks rich in iron-bearing minerals tend to be either black or at least dark-coloured). These chemical elements (Mg and Fe) are the essential components of olivine which has the following chemical formula: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. Magnesium and iron can replace each other in all proportions. There are specific names for compositional varieties, but most of them are rarely used. Only forsterite (more than 90% of the Mg+Fe is Mg) and fayalite (similarly iron-rich endmember) are used more often. The vast majority of all the samples are forsteritic or compositionally close to it.

Olivine is a nesosilicate. It means that silica tetrahedra (which is the central building block of all silicate minerals) are surrounded from all sides by other ions. Silica tetrahedra are not in contact with each other. It implies relatively low content of silicon which is indeed the case. It is a silicate mineral that uses silicon very conservatively. On the other end of the spectrum is mineral quartz which is pure silica (SiO2) without any other constituents. Other well-known nesosilicates are garnet, zircon, topaz, kyanite, etc.

What defines a mineral?
A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid, with a definite chemical composition, and an ordered atomic arrangement. This may seem a bit of a mouthful, but if you break it down it becomes simpler. Minerals are naturally occurring. They are not made by humans. Minerals are inorganic.

Silicate minerals that crystallize from magma have a higher melting/crystallization temperature if the content of silica is lower and the content of Mg+Fe is higher. Hence, olivine has a high crystallization temperature and is therefore one of the first minerals to start crystallizing from a cooling magma. It takes silica out of magma relatively conservatively, as already mentioned. So the concentration of silica rises as olivine crystals form and next silicate minerals to crystallize (which are pyroxenes) are already somewhat richer in silica. This sequential order of crystallizing silicate minerals from olivine to quartz is known as the Bowen’s reaction series after a Canadian geologist Norman Bowen who first described it. It is one of the most important concepts every geology student is taught during the petrology course.

Dunite Xenolith, Basaltic Lava, Hawaii
Dunite xenolith in basaltic lava from Hawaii. The sample is 8 cm in width

Bowen’s series or order of minerals in this series (olivine -> pyroxene -> amphibole -> biotite -> K-feldspar -> muscovite -> quartz) is a really useful one to memorize and there are several properties of these minerals that generally follow the same order. Olivine and its close neighbours are darker, contain iron and magnesium, and have a high melting temperature. Quartz, muscovite and K-feldspars are generally much lighter in color and weight, they melt at lower temperatures, and they contain no iron and magnesium. Another interesting fact is that the order of susceptibility to weathering and metamorphic alteration is exactly the reverse. It is readily altered or weathered while quartz is extremely resistant to any kind of change. All other minerals in the series are somewhere in the middle. In the correct order, of course.

What are the 7 types of minerals?
The classes are: native elements, silicates, oxides, sulfides, sulfates, halides, carbonates, phosphates, and mineraloids.

Important aspect that rises from this series is the explanation why certain minerals typically form assemblages while others are almost never found together. Olivine is typically with pyroxenes (in basalt, for example) and quartz + K-feldspar with micas (biotite and muscovite) is a typical composition of granite. But there are no such rock types that are composed of olivine plus quartz. Granite and similar rocks are said to be felsic (composed of feldspar and silica) and basaltic rocks are referred to as mafic rocks (magnesium + ferric).

Olivine from Hawaii

Olivine sand grains from Hawaii. Olivine is actually very rare in sand because it is highly susceptible to weathering. Most of these minerals will not last long as sand grains, but they still dominate because there simply is no quartz available on these islands. The sample is from Papakolea, Hawaii. Width of view 20 mm.

Olivine is a common rock-forming mineral in mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks, but it also occurs in impure metamorphosed carbonate rocks (picture below). It is a very common mineral in the mantle. Some xenoliths from the mantle are almost entirely composed of this mineral. Such a rock type is known as dunite. Olivine occurs as a groundmass mineral but also as distinct phenocrysts in many basaltic rocks. These rocks need not to be basalts in the strict sense. They may be picrites, basanites, etc. but all of them may be very similar to each other as boundaries between them are arbitrary. So it is frequently impossible to say for sure before chemical analysis is made.

Olivine is very susceptible to weathering. Bright green mineral loses its appeal rapidly in the weathering environment. It becomes dull, earthy, and yellowish brown.  This material is usually a mixture of clay minerals and iron hydroxide goethite and it is known as iddingsite. It also demonstrates very little resistance to hydrothermal metamorphism. Hot and chemically aggressive fluids quickly alter olivine-rich igneous rocks into metamorphic rock known as serpentinite. It is also an important constituent of many stony and mixed meteorites. Especially beautiful is pallasite. It is a mixture of iron and olivine and is thought to represent a core-mantle boundary of a disintegrated asteroid. Perhaps the core-mantle transition of our own home planet looks something like that too.

Is Diamond a mineral?
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring mineral, topping Mohs' Scale of Hardness with a relative hardness value of 10. Diamond is a polymorph of the element carbon, and graphite is another. However, at surface temperatures and pressures graphite is the stable form of carbon.

However, there is one little thing to remember. The mantle is indeed most likely compositionally close to it, but most of it is not composed of this exact mineral. Olivine tolerates well pressures in the crust and in the upper mantle, but at 350 km depth its crystal structure starts to break down. The composition remains, but it takes a new and more compact form. It is not technically olivine anymore because minerals have a definite crystal structure.

olivine crystals are found in a sample of calcitic marble
Olivine is not just an igneous mineral. It also occurs in impure metamorphosed carbonate rocks. Here olivine crystals are found in a sample of calcitic marble. Some crystals even possess a typical crystal faces which are usually lacking in igneous rocks because olivine grains are often corroded (they reacted with the melt surrounding them). Width of sample is 9 cm.

Phenocrysts in ultramafic picritic rock from La Palma, Canary Islands
Phenocrysts in ultramafic picritic rock from La Palma, Canary Islands. Width of sample is 5 cm

Weathered olivine is dull, earthy, and usually yellowish brown mixture of clay minerals and iron hydroxides. Black grains are pyroxene phenocrysts. Rock sample is basanite (ankaramite) from La Palma.

Chrysotile is an asbestos mineral
Chrysotile is an asbestos mineral that belongs to the serpentine group of minerals. These minerals are the result of hydrothermal alteration of olivine-rich igneous rocks. Width of sample from the Sayan Mountains in Siberia is 8 cm.

Before you go!

Recommended: Recycling Asphalt Generates Massive Amount Of Electricity

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CO2 Absorption: Does A Dutch Professor Have The Answer?

The world is desperately looking for safe and cost-effective solutions to counteract climate change by reducing the CO2 levels of the atmosphere. It looks ‘another’ good solution is found! How it’s named: Olivine. Does This Professor Has The Solution For The Increasing CO2 And The Effects On Climate Change? Olaf Schuiling, professor Geo Engineering at the University Utrecht (Netherlands) proposes Olivine. Olivine isn’t new. It is as old as the world, namely to use olivine or similar rocks not in a technology, but in the way it works in nature. Olivine (Mg2SiO4) is the most common mineral on earth. Since the sixties professor Schuiling investigated the reaction between dissolved CO2 and Olivine. In addition, heat is released, and the CO2 binds to the innocent bicarbonate, which may be later precipitates as lime. Schuiling: "It is one of the easiest ways to capture CO2 from the air. It is a safe, natural and inexpensive process." Olivine And Buildings And schools The absorption of CO2 is optimal when the Olivine is crushed to sand. Scattering of the Olivine is possible in streets, green strips near roads and industrial sites, parks, gardens, beaches, and in the sandpits of schools. Olivine converts CO2 into calcium and so reduces CO2 in the air. "If the Olive grid is spread onto land and shallow water in the wet tropics, in a year about 20 percent of the CO2 will be weathered. When we repeat the process every year with 7 cubic kilometres of rock, we will compensate the whole human CO2 emissions." CO2 Absorption Costs The costs to dig and pulverize Olivine in tropical countries are about $ 6.5 per ton. If you assume that for the transportation and spreading another $ 6.5 per ton are needed, the costs are 13 USD per ton of olivine: about 10 USD per ton CO2. Recommended:  Climate Change Efforts On Reducing CO2 Why Not Recycle It? Sediments And Olivine Weathering of calcium and or magnesium silicate rock has kept the CO2 content of the atmosphere within reasonable bounds throughout geological history. Weathering is the neutralization of an acid (usually carbonic acid) by rocks, turning CO2 into the innocuous bicarbonate ion in solution. These bicarbonate solutions are carried by rivers to the sea, where they are ultimately deposited as limestones and dolomites. These carbonate sediments form the ultimate sink for CO2. They contain 1,500 times more CO2 than the amounts of CO2 in biomass, atmosphere and dissolved CO2 in the oceans combined. Reduce CO2 Emissions Two broad families of geo-engineering solutions have been proposed: First is to alter the Earth’s thermal balance by reflecting more incident solar radiation out to space Second is the direct removal of CO2 from the atmosphere Both approaches have their place but note that the first category does not address the serious issue of ocean acidification (report). Accordingly it would be unwise to rely on enhanced reflectivity alone. Of the second category of geo engineering approaches, the most logical is to increase the rate of weathering since this is a natural process whose enhancement may be considered 'benign in principle'. This can be done by mining abundantly available and easily weatherable rocks, milling them and spreading the grains over the surface of the land or in shallow seas. The olivine option is not so much a ‘technology’ in the classical sense, but more a general concept that can be applied in many sectors of society. Recommended:  Does Rising CO2 Benefit Plants? Projects based on enhanced weathering of olivine and related minerals have been formulated for agriculture, forestry, roads and biking paths, buildings, coastal defense, firefighting, playgrounds, suppression of poisonous dinoflagellate and cyanobacteria blooms, diatom farms for biodiesel production, mining, mineral waters, olivine as a green fuel, olivine in environmental applications, natural emissions of CO2 for carbon capture and miscellaneous. Olivine In Silica The solutions that are produced by the digestion of olivine grains are rich in silica, which is a limiting nutrient for diatoms. When silica becomes available in larger quantities, the diatom population will increase, providing food for fishes and birds further up the food chain. CO2 Absorption Can Vary Greatly Colleagues point out correctly that, as in nature, the rates and speed of the reaction of minerals like olivine can vary greatly in different situations found in the natural world. More work needs to be done to understand these processes. However, don’t mistake that for a reason for inaction, whilst we may be unsure of the absolute potential, we are sure that the potential is there. Recommended:  Renewable Energy Turns CO2 Into Fuel For Hydrogen Batteries And, as in nature, with such a wide range of applications for weathering minerals in our human activities, virtually everybody can participate in their own field and help move these techniques forward in the fight to counteract climate change and ocean acidification. Combating climate change and building a sustainable future, there are a lot of interesting and potentially very helpful actions and developments to be embraced. And Olivine is one of them. Olivine: Where Can It Be Found? Olivine is a very common silicate mineral that occurs mostly in dark-coloured igneous rocks like peridotite and basalt. It is usually easily identifiable because of its bright green colour and glassy lustre.                                                                                 Identifying Olivine                                                 CO2 Absorption: Does A Dutch Professor Have The Answer? Olivine is a common mineral in dark-coloured igneous rocks because these rocks are rich in iron and magnesium (rocks rich in iron-bearing minerals tend to be either black or at least dark-coloured). These chemical elements (Mg and Fe) are the essential components of olivine which has the following chemical formula: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. Magnesium and iron can replace each other in all proportions. There are specific names for compositional varieties, but most of them are rarely used. Only forsterite (more than 90% of the Mg+Fe is Mg) and fayalite (similarly iron-rich endmember) are used more often. The vast majority of all the samples are forsteritic or compositionally close to it. Olivine is a nesosilicate. It means that silica tetrahedra (which is the central building block of all silicate minerals) are surrounded from all sides by other ions. Silica tetrahedra are not in contact with each other. It implies relatively low content of silicon which is indeed the case. It is a silicate mineral that uses silicon very conservatively. On the other end of the spectrum is mineral quartz which is pure silica (SiO2) without any other constituents. Other well-known nesosilicates are garnet, zircon, topaz, kyanite, etc. What defines a mineral? A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid, with a definite chemical composition, and an ordered atomic arrangement. This may seem a bit of a mouthful, but if you break it down it becomes simpler. Minerals are naturally occurring. They are not made by humans. Minerals are inorganic. Silicate minerals that crystallize from magma have a higher melting/crystallization temperature if the content of silica is lower and the content of Mg+Fe is higher. Hence, olivine has a high crystallization temperature and is therefore one of the first minerals to start crystallizing from a cooling magma. It takes silica out of magma relatively conservatively, as already mentioned. So the concentration of silica rises as olivine crystals form and next silicate minerals to crystallize (which are pyroxenes) are already somewhat richer in silica. This sequential order of crystallizing silicate minerals from olivine to quartz is known as the Bowen’s reaction series after a Canadian geologist Norman Bowen who first described it. It is one of the most important concepts every geology student is taught during the petrology course. Dunite xenolith in basaltic lava from Hawaii. The sample is 8 cm in width Bowen’s series or order of minerals in this series (olivine -> pyroxene -> amphibole -> biotite -> K-feldspar -> muscovite -> quartz) is a really useful one to memorize and there are several properties of these minerals that generally follow the same order. Olivine and its close neighbours are darker, contain iron and magnesium, and have a high melting temperature. Quartz, muscovite and K-feldspars are generally much lighter in color and weight, they melt at lower temperatures, and they contain no iron and magnesium. Another interesting fact is that the order of susceptibility to weathering and metamorphic alteration is exactly the reverse. It is readily altered or weathered while quartz is extremely resistant to any kind of change. All other minerals in the series are somewhere in the middle. In the correct order, of course. What are the 7 types of minerals? The classes are: native elements, silicates, oxides, sulfides, sulfates, halides, carbonates, phosphates, and mineraloids. Important aspect that rises from this series is the explanation why certain minerals typically form assemblages while others are almost never found together. Olivine is typically with pyroxenes (in basalt, for example) and quartz + K-feldspar with micas (biotite and muscovite) is a typical composition of granite. But there are no such rock types that are composed of olivine plus quartz. Granite and similar rocks are said to be felsic (composed of feldspar and silica) and basaltic rocks are referred to as mafic rocks (magnesium + ferric). Olivine sand grains from Hawaii. Olivine is actually very rare in sand because it is highly susceptible to weathering. Most of these minerals will not last long as sand grains, but they still dominate because there simply is no quartz available on these islands. The sample is from Papakolea, Hawaii. Width of view 20 mm. Olivine is a common rock-forming mineral in mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks, but it also occurs in impure metamorphosed carbonate rocks (picture below). It is a very common mineral in the mantle. Some xenoliths from the mantle are almost entirely composed of this mineral. Such a rock type is known as dunite. Olivine occurs as a groundmass mineral but also as distinct phenocrysts in many basaltic rocks. These rocks need not to be basalts in the strict sense. They may be picrites, basanites, etc. but all of them may be very similar to each other as boundaries between them are arbitrary. So it is frequently impossible to say for sure before chemical analysis is made. Olivine is very susceptible to weathering. Bright green mineral loses its appeal rapidly in the weathering environment. It becomes dull, earthy, and yellowish brown.  This material is usually a mixture of clay minerals and iron hydroxide goethite and it is known as iddingsite. It also demonstrates very little resistance to hydrothermal metamorphism. Hot and chemically aggressive fluids quickly alter olivine-rich igneous rocks into metamorphic rock known as serpentinite. It is also an important constituent of many stony and mixed meteorites. Especially beautiful is pallasite. It is a mixture of iron and olivine and is thought to represent a core-mantle boundary of a disintegrated asteroid. Perhaps the core-mantle transition of our own home planet looks something like that too. Is Diamond a mineral? Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring mineral, topping Mohs' Scale of Hardness with a relative hardness value of 10. Diamond is a polymorph of the element carbon, and graphite is another. However, at surface temperatures and pressures graphite is the stable form of carbon. However, there is one little thing to remember. The mantle is indeed most likely compositionally close to it, but most of it is not composed of this exact mineral. Olivine tolerates well pressures in the crust and in the upper mantle, but at 350 km depth its crystal structure starts to break down. The composition remains, but it takes a new and more compact form. It is not technically olivine anymore because minerals have a definite crystal structure. Olivine is not just an igneous mineral. It also occurs in impure metamorphosed carbonate rocks. Here olivine crystals are found in a sample of calcitic marble. Some crystals even possess a typical crystal faces which are usually lacking in igneous rocks because olivine grains are often corroded (they reacted with the melt surrounding them). Width of sample is 9 cm. Phenocrysts in ultramafic picritic rock from La Palma, Canary Islands. Width of sample is 5 cm Weathered olivine is dull, earthy, and usually yellowish brown mixture of clay minerals and iron hydroxides. Black grains are pyroxene phenocrysts. Rock sample is basanite (ankaramite) from La Palma. Chrysotile is an asbestos mineral that belongs to the serpentine group of minerals. These minerals are the result of hydrothermal alteration of olivine-rich igneous rocks. Width of sample from the Sayan Mountains in Siberia is 8 cm. Before you go! Recommended:  Recycling Asphalt Generates Massive Amount Of Electricity Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about sustainability? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
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