Life cycle assessment of brucite and synthetic MgO produced from reject brine using different alkalis

Farah Shahbaz, Inderjeet Singh, Padmaja Krishnan, Kemal Celik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA) approach is carried out to determine the environmental impact of brucite (Mg(OH)2) and synthetic magnesium oxide (MgO) recovered from reject brine in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) using SimaPro 9.1 software. The environmental impacts of synthetic Mg(OH)2 and MgO production were quantified using 18 ReCiPe midpoint indicators. Four different alkali sources, calcium oxide (CaO), sodium hydroxide (NaOH), ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH), and ethanolamine (C2H7NO), which can be utilized for the production of synthetic MgO, are considered. The results demonstrate that CaO was the most environmentally friendly alkali that can be used to produce synthetic Mg(OH)2 with the lowest environmental impact for all 18 ReCiPe midpoint indicators. The results for brucite and synthetic MgO production in the UAE were scaled up from laboratory experiments for LCA analysis and compared to the results of commercial MgO produced from the calcination of magnesite (MgCO3). The carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq.) emissions for synthetic MgO generated from reject brine using CaO are 6.7–25.2% higher than that from commercial MgO. However, synthetic brucite recovered from reject brine using CaO produces 28.8–37.1% less CO2 eq. emissions compared to commercial MgO, making it a promising magnesium-based binder that can be adopted in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135071
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - Dec 20 2022


  • Brucite
  • CO emissions
  • Environmental impact
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Reactive magnesium oxide
  • Reject desalination brine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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