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Farming nickel from non-ore deposits, combined with CO2 sequestration

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2013.54057    3,834 Downloads   6,110 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

A new way is described to recover nickel from common rock-types, by the use of nickel hyperaccumulator plants. The idea of phytomining nickel was suggested earlier, but never implemented. This situation may soon change, because the mining sector suffers from a poor image on account of the impact of mining on the environment, and would like to reduce the pollution and high energy consumption associated with metal extraction. Once phytomining is established as a viable way of nickel production, it is likely that governments will impose nickel mines to realize part of their nickel production by this method. This will lead to a considerable decrease of CO2 emissions. Phytomining from rocks rich in olivine or serpentine is CO2-negative. When metal extraction goes hand in hand with CO2 sequestration, it will improve the image of the mining sector. Other advantages include that unproductive soils can serve to grow nickel hyperaccumulator plants and recover nickel. The extensive mining technology can provide employment to many poor farmers/miners. Countries that want to be self-sufficient in strategic materials, and avoid spending foreign currency on importing them can switch to phytomining. This paper treats different aspects of future nickel farming.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Schuiling, R. (2013) Farming nickel from non-ore deposits, combined with CO2 sequestration. Natural Science, 5, 445-448. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.54057.

References

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