CEE Seminar (ZOOM): Understanding CO2 Mineralization in Adsorbed Water Nanofilms

Zoom Link below
M.J. Qomi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
UC Irvine

VIA Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 912 684 8538 ~~ Password: 12345


Abstract: The untethered carbon emission from worldwide fossil-fuel-burning energy infrastructure calls for the development of utilization and storage technologies to safely and permanently convert CO2 to carbonate minerals. Natural and synthetic divalent metal silicate rocks have the capacity to mineralize CO2 by an order of magnitude greater than the estimated emissions from burning all fossil fuel resources on Earth. The rate of CO2 mineralization is strongly affected by the water concentration of injected/processing fluids. With humidified CO2-rich fluids, which for instance form when injecting neat supercritical CO2 in water-bearing basalt formations, nanometer-thick water films adsorb on mineral surfaces and act as a nano-bath, catalyzing the carbonation reaction. In such fluids, the long-standing paradigms for bulk aqueous fluid-mediated carbonation via the dissolution-precipitation pathways become simply irrelevant. The goal of this presentation is to delineate the underlying molecular mechanisms of carbonation reaction pathways in water nanofilms. This will be done by using a comprehensive but complementary set of advanced molecular simulations. The fundamental understanding of the CO2 mineralization process in nanofilms has broad implications beyond geological carbon sequestration and the deep carbon cycle. This understanding can ultimately pave the path toward envisioning carbon-neutral mining practices, designing advanced reactive fluids for enhanced oil recovery from unconventional reservoirs and developing water-efficient carbon-negative concretes for construction of sustainable energy infrastructures.

Bio: M.J. Qomi is an assistant professor in the UC Irvine Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015 for his work on understanding the nanoscale structure of cement hydrates. He received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Tehran University and a master's degree in computational mechanics from Sharif University of Technology. Qomi is the recipient of Tavakkoli, Schoettler and Hellman Fellowships as well as Maseeh and ASCE awards for excellence in teaching. His computational research is focused on interfacial science and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and Aramco Research.

Advanced Infrastructure Materials and Systems Laboratory (AIMS Lab)
Website: aimslab.eng.uci.edu