Accelerated weathering of limestone (AWL: CO22+ + CaCO3 + H2O ??? Ca2+ + 2HCO3- as a low-tech, inexpensive, high-capacity, environmentally-friendly CO2 capture and sequestration technology was evaluated. With access to seawater and limestone being essential to this approach, significant limestone resources were close to most CO2-emitting power plants along the coastal US. Waste fines, representing > 20% of current US crushed limestone production (> 109 tons/yr), could be used as an inexpensive source of AWL carbonate. AWL end-solution disposal in the ocean would significantly reduce effects on ocean pH and carbonate chemistry relative to those caused by direct atmospheric or ocean CO2 disposal. Indeed, the increase in ocean Ca2+ and bicarbonate offered by AWL should enhance growth of corals and other calcifying marine organisms.
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CO2 mitigation via accelerated limestone weathering