January 6, 2013: Pilot plant to capture atmospheric CO2 going up in Calgary, Alberta.
A Canadian company 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, 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.
This will drive faux environmentalists mad: using CO2 to extract even more oil from the earth:
Should the cost of capturing carbon dioxide fall low enough, the gas would have many customers, he predicted. Chief among them, he said, would be the oil industry, which buys the gas to inject into oil fields to force out extra oil. The injection has minimal risk, said Howard J. Herzog, a senior research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The enhanced oil recovery industry has put tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the ground every year for decades with no problems,” he said.
Much of the carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery comes from naturally occurring underground reserves that are piped to oil fields, said Sasha Mackler, vice president of Summit Carbon Capture, a unit of Summit Power Group in Seattle. Summit Carbon Capture harvests carbon dioxide gas from coal and natural gas-burning plants before it can be spewed into the air.
This is a new company built around a new technology that captures CO2 to
a) convert it to acid and baking soda that can be sold; and/or,The new technology was developed partly with the aid of a Department of Energy grant.
b) converted to a solid that can safely be stored in landfills
Capitol Aggregates, a cement company, in San Antonio, TX, where I now call home, will build a plant with a new patented process that will "offset" 225,000 tons of CO2/year. Cement production is a significant source of CO2. If I read the article correctly, that plant will cost about $125 million.
I have no idea if 225,000 tons is huge amount of CO2 or not. What does one compare it to?
It turns out that Air Products & Chemicals Inc is building a $430 million project at a Valero refinry in Texas where it will capture 1 million tons of CO2 and pipe it to Denbury Resources for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) -- CO2 flooding of old oil fields.
Anyway, a lot of data points, new technology, San Antonio, all very interesting. See the story at the link.