Pilot Plant in the Works for Carbon Dioxide Cleansing

Pilot Plant in the Works for Carbon Dioxide Cleansing

Potential business for cleaning the atmosphere and making some money.

Saw this in The New York Times about a Canadian company that has developed a cleansing technology that may one day capture and remove some of this heat-trapping gas directly from the sky. And it is even possible that the gas could then be sold for industrial use.

Carbon Engineering (www.carbonengineering.com), formed in 2009 with $3.5 million from Bill Gates and others, created prototypes for parts of its cleanup system in 2011 and 2012 at its plant in Calgary, Alberta. The company, which recently closed a $3 million second round of financing, plans to build a complete pilot plant by the end of 2014 for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, said David Keith, its president and a Harvard professor who has long been interested in climate issues.

CE’s focused on cost effective, industrial scale, air-capture technologies includes in-house engineering, laboratory work, and pilot scale research in concert with out sourced design and testing performed by engineering firms and vendors.

CE will bring industrial-scale air capture to market, by designing and building the world’s first air capture plant. CE’s air capture process will provide a critical tool to manage carbon emissions and climate risk, and will capitalize on an expanding emissions management market space.

“The successful demonstration of a megaton-scale commercial facility will be the catalyst that ignites a large-scale air capture industry. This industry can then generate R&D required to drive down costs, allowing air capture to play a major role in solving the climate problem,” says David Keith, CE President.

The next big step towards full commercialization is the development of a fully integrated industrial pilot plant supplying at least 10,000 tons per year of CO2 to customers.

As we work to design and fund a pilot we will continue to explore high-value niches for CE’s technology, such as the development of compact air capture systems for remote production of high-value fuels.

A successful pilot plant will enable full commercialization of the technology, with facilities capturing anywhere from one-hundred kilotons to one million tons of CO2 per year. Running a one million-ton capture facility for a year is equivalent to taking roughly 300,000 cars off the road for that year.

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