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Verifying and quantifying carbon fixation in minerals from serpentine-rich mine tailings using the Rietveld method with X-ray powder diffraction data

Siobhan A. Wilson, Mati Raudsepp and Gregory M. Dipple
Verifying and quantifying carbon fixation in minerals from serpentine-rich mine tailings using the Rietveld method with X-ray powder diffraction data
American Mineralogist (August 2006) 91 (8-9): 1331-1341

Abstract

Most carbon on Earth is bound within minerals, and increasing the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide into minerals may reduce the greenhouse gas content of the atmosphere. We document carbon disposal through the mineralization of mine tailings at Clinton Creek, Yukon Territory, and Cassiar, British Columbia. We confirm crystallographic binding of carbon in these tailings and quantify carbon dioxide uptake using quantitative phase analysis with the Rietveld method for X-ray powder diffraction data. Planar disorder in the structures of the kaolinite-serpentine group minerals makes Rietveld refinements of X-ray powder diffraction data for serpentinites problematic. Using structureless pattern fitting and with the addition of a known quantity of a well-crystallized material, the problem of structural disorder is overcome by considering the serpentine minerals as amorphous phases. We test the accuracy and precision of this refinement method using synthetic serpentine-rich mine tailings of known composition. Estimates of the abundance of hydrated magnesium carbonates in these tailings have a precision of approximately 5% relative for mineral species present in amounts greater than 10 wt%. Precise estimates of carbonate mineral content and crystallographically bound atmospheric CO (sub 2) are made for samples of serpentine-rich tailings from Clinton Creek and Cassiar. Results for mine tailings are also compared to mineralogically similar samples from a carbonate playa at Atlin, British Columbia. The potential for decomposition of metastable hydrated magnesium carbonate phases to geologically stable magnesite may represent long-term stability of the products of mineral sequestration in mine tailings.


ISSN: 0003-004X
EISSN: 1945-3027
Coden: AMMIAY
Serial Title: American Mineralogist
Serial Volume: 91
Serial Issue: 8-9
Title: Verifying and quantifying carbon fixation in minerals from serpentine-rich mine tailings using the Rietveld method with X-ray powder diffraction data
Affiliation: University of British Columbia, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Vancoucer, BC, Canada
Pages: 1331-1341
Published: 200608
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America, Washington, DC, United States
References: 60
Accession Number: 2006-079766
Categories: General mineralogy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendices
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables
N50°00'00" - N65°00'00", W140°00'00" - W120°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 200645
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