Trent University’s Amanda Stubbs is discovering ways to offset greenhouse gas emissions in the mining industry

Amanda Stubbs, from Bewdley, Ontario, is a Master’s student in Environmental and Life Sciences at Trent University.

The mining industry is one of the largest emitters of CO2 in the world.

As the concentration of atmospheric CO2 continues to rise, there is a critical need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Amanda’s goal is to develop processes that will offset GHG emissions in the mining industry!

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A carbon offset is a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction that is used to counterbalance, or offset, GHG emissions.

A carbon offset occurs when an individual or organization emits a certain level GHG’s and then proceed to remove the equivalent volume of GHG emissions from the atmosphere in some manner.

Carbon offsetting can make a real and lasting difference.

When the mining industry emits greenhouse gas emissions, they can attempt to balance out that emission.

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Amanda’s research involves fieldwork at one of the largest diamond mines in the world located in South Africa!

She is conducting laboratory experiments that examine geochemical and mineralogical processes related to CO2 mineralization.

This process involves the reaction of CO2 with mine wastes to form stable carbonate minerals, locking away CO2 within a crystal’s structure.

Storing CO2 in stable carbonate minerals offers huge potential to offset these emissions and is a great example of a project where carbon offsetting really works!

Carbon offsets is an important part of the solution as they support projects and activities that result in GHGs being avoided or reduced.

Offsets do two important things:

1. Support the overall reduction of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

2. Invest directly into clean technologies of the future.

While the mining emissions have still occurred, the offsets have enabled a reduction of GHGs elsewhere!

Her research is still underway, and we look forward to learning more about the results when it has been completed!

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Amanda says,

“Trent University has provided me with outstanding opportunities to work hands on in environmental disciplines. From my undergraduate degree in Geography to my masters in Environmental and Life Sciences I have had the chance to work with highly knowledgeable faculty that go out of their way to ensure student success. I have not only gained experience in educational settings, but have developed strong skills for job opportunities and created strong network connections for the future.”

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