Enhancing CO2 Mineralization Rate and Extent of Iron and Steel Slag via Grinding

Corey Adam Myers*, Jun Sasagawa, Takao Nakagaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Roughly 10% of the CO2 emissions from iron and steel making are attributable to the direct release of CO2 from the thermal decomposition of carbonates to produce flux, mainly CaO, used for impurity removal. Notably, these direct emissions remain even if carbon-based steelmaking is replaced by hydrogen- based steelmaking. After removing impurities from the molten metal, this flux becomes the solid waste product called 'slag', a primarily Ca-silicate material. The transformation of slag back into carbonates is thermodynamically spontaneous with negative ΔG in the ambient environment, meaning that ∼10% of the CO2 emissions from iron and steel making could be negated if equipment and methods were developed to support CO2 mineralization. However, the rate of CO2 mineralization using slag is slowed by several environmental, geometric, and processing factors. We leverage an experimentally verified model of CO2 mineralization to determine how to efficiently accelerate the process. Increasing the crystallinity of slag, increasing the relative humidity, and reducing the grain size of slag particles provide the greatest increase in CO2 mineralization rate at the lowest energy penalty. Increasing the concentration of CO2 and the temperature provide only modest increases in the CO2 mineralization rate while incurring a substantial energy penalty. For steelmaking slags, CO2 mineralization represents low-hanging fruit as the current reuse pathways are low value. For ironmaking slag, replacing the production of amorphous slag for the cement industry with the production of crystalline slag for CO2 mineralization becomes financially preferable when a carbon price/tax exceeds 67.40 USD/t-CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2446-2453
Number of pages8
Journalisij international
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • CCUS
  • circular economy
  • ggbs
  • industrial decarbonization
  • net zero

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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