Tag Archives: carbon capture

Suncor backs Svante and its carbon dioxide capture technology

Suncor has backed the decarbonisation and hydrogen production ambitions of carbon capture technology company Svante, joining a number of firms in its latest equity raising.

Svante is looking to accelerate the commercialisation of its novel second generation CO2 capture technology, aiming to decarbonise industrial emissions and hydrogen production in North America. Its technology, Svante claims, captures carbon dioxide from flue gas, concentrates it, then releases it for safe storage or industrial use.

Combined, Suncor and a number of family office investors have invested $25 million of equity financing, bringing the total proceeds raised under Svante’s Series D financing to $100 million, completing what Suncor says is the largest single private investment into point source carbon capture technology globally to date.

Svante has now attracted more than $175 million in total funding since it was founded in 2007 to develop and commercialise its breakthrough solid sorbent technology at half the capital cost of traditional engineered solutions.

Claude Letourneau, President & CEO of Svante Inc, said: “Svante has generated a pipeline of potential new project opportunities capturing over 40 Mt of CO2/y before 2030 from natural gas industrial boilers, cement and lime, and blue hydrogen industrial facilities, mainly in North America and spurred by both US and Canada federal CO2 tax credits and prices on CO2 emissions.”

According to Mark Little, President & CEO of Suncor, “carbon capture is a strategic technology area for Suncor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our base business and produce blue hydrogen as an energy product. An investment in Svante is expected to support the acceleration of commercial-scale deployment of a technology that has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost associated with carbon capture. We are excited to become both an investor in and a collaborative partner with the company.”

Letourneau added on Suncor’s investment: “We are pleased to partner with a leading Canadian player in the energy industry, alongside existing investor Cenovus, and to benefit not only from their financial support but also their commitment to deliver low-carbon fuels and blue hydrogen to transform the energy system.”

Svante says its approach is tailored specifically to the challenges of separating CO₂ from nitrogen contained in diluted flue gas generated by industrial plants such as cement, steel, aluminium, fertiliser and hydrogen, which is typically emitted in large volumes, at low pressures, and dilute concentrations.

It uses tailor-made nano-materials (solid adsorbents) with very high storage capacity for carbon dioxide. It has engineered these adsorbents to catch and release CO₂ in less than 60 seconds, compared with hours for other technologies.

The company’s carbon capture technology consists of a patented architecture of structured adsorbent laminate (spaced sheets), proprietary process cycle design, and a rotary mechanical contactor to capture, release and regenerate the adsorbent in a single unit.

In January, Lafarge Canada, Svante and Total announced they had reached a major milestone at its Project CO2MENT, a first-of-its kind partnership to capture industrial levels of CO2 emissions from a cement plant. The multi-phase project celebrated the completion of Phase II construction to have the technology to capture and filter the CO2 from the flue gas. This was a crucial component to achieving the next stage of capturing CO2 flow at the Lafarge Richmond cement facility in British Columbia, Canada.

BHP and China Baowu take on steel industry GHG emission reduction challenge

BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with leading steel producer, China Baowu, with the intention, it says, to invest up to $35 million and share technical knowledge to help address the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions facing the global steel industry.

The five-year partnership will focus on the development of low carbon technologies and pathways capable of emission intensity reduction in integrated steelmaking, according to BHP. Under the MoU, the deployment of carbon capture, utilisation and storage in the steel sector will also be investigated at one of China Baowu’s production bases.

BHP’s investment will be funded under the $400 million Climate Investment Program, set up last year to coordinate and prioritise projects, partnerships, R&D and venture investments to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, offsets and support development of technologies with the highest potential to impact change.

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry (pictured left), said the companies would collaborate on technical solutions to use low carbon fuel sources such as hydrogen injection in the blast furnace, and explore other low emission options in support of China Baowu and the steel industry’s low carbon transformation and green development goals.

“This MoU further strengthens our longstanding relationship with China Baowu and reflects our joint determination and commitment to help reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals,” Henry said.

“BHP will invest in supporting the development of low emissions technologies, promote product stewardship and partner with others to enhance the global policy and market response to climate change. Our investments are focused on actions that can create real change in emissions.”

In September, BHP awarded a tender for world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier to carry iron ore between Western Australia and China, which will reduce emissions by more than 30% per voyage.

In October 2019, China Baowu, meanwhile, announced the establishment of a Low Carbon Metallurgy Innovation Centre and plans to establish a Global Low Carbon Metallurgy Innovation Alliance.

China Baowu Chairman, Chen Derong, said the MoU with BHP will further enhance and broaden the existing strategic partnership between the companies, and establish a model of joint industrial efforts to promote technological innovation and a sustainable transition to a lower carbon world.

“At the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech that outlined China’s low carbon transformation and development,” Chen Derong said. “Low carbon transition and green development represent a major disruption to the traditional steelmaking value chain.

“As a leading company in the sector, China Baowu will take an active role in implementing low carbon technologies, working together with upstream and downstream partners.

“The global steel industry needs an open platform to jointly explore low carbon technology and roadmaps, as well as showcase to the world the efforts to reshape the steelmaking value chain.”

Consistent with the ambitions of China Baowu and BHP to drive efficiency and address emissions across the global steel industry, both companies will work together to establish a China Baowu-BHP Low Carbon Metallurgy Knowledge Sharing Center, to link complementary research and share low carbon and green development knowledge with domestic and international steel industry stakeholders, the two companies said.

COAL21 backs Australia’s first carbon capture hub in Queensland

Australia’s largest industrial low emissions technology fund, COAL21, says it will provide several million dollars of additional funding towards establishing Australia’s first commercial scale carbon capture hub in Queensland.

The new funding will support consideration of a final investment decision in June 2020 to begin the A$150 million ($102 million) construction of a carbon capture plant at the Millmerran Power Station (pictured) as part of the Carbon Transport and Storage Company’s Integrated Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage project in the Surat Basin.

This plant – together with the further stage of geological storage – represents an estimated A$230 million investment in industrially-scalable carbon capture and storage in Queensland’s Surat Basin, and removes some 25,000 cars equivalent of emissions every year over the project’s potential 25-30-year life, according to COAL21.

COAL21 is a A$550 million low emission technology fund established by the Australia black coal industry with the purpose of investing in research and deployment of carbon reduction technologies.

“These technologies are vital to reducing the risks of human-induced climate change and will support the transition to a low emissions global economy, in line with participation in the Paris Agreement,” COAL21 says. “Through COAL21, contributors to the fund are delivering projects which reduce and remove emissions through technology and collaboration with Australian and international partners.”

COAL21 said it was excited by the potential benefits from the establishment of Australia’s first commercial scale carbon capture hub in Queensland, and that the investment “strongly aligns to COAL21’s core purpose of investing in research and deployment of low emission coal technologies”.

Investing in this project provides the foundation of critical infrastructure needed to reduce and remove existing and future sources of industrial emissions, according to COAL21. This includes from coal-fired and other electricity generation, steel and cement manufacture, mining processes and from other future energy sources, such as hydrogen.

The investment will, according to COAL21, provide:

  • An emissions reduction solution for carbon exposed industries in southern Queensland;
  • Better and more secure employment opportunities and improved energy security in the national electricity market; and
  • The foundation of a commercially competitive emission reduction and removal solution for new high efficiency low emission power stations, as well as emissions reduction infrastructure, for Australian industries of the future such as hydrogen production and carbon recycling.

This funding sends a clear message internationally about Australia’s commitment to practical, effective action on emissions reduction, industry development and a sustainable economy, according to COAL21.

The Surat Basin has been chosen for its storage potential for CO2, a range of potential commercial users of CO2, and several significant industrial sources of CO2, notably Australia’s newest coal fired power stations at Millmerran, Kogan Creek and Tarong North, COAL21 said. The Surat Basin has been consistently identified as a CO2 storage option since 2009’s National Carbon Storage Taskforce which estimated a theoretical storage capacity of up to 2,900 Mt of CO2.

This latest investment continues more than a decade of COAL21 investing in low emission technologies, including a world first project that demonstrated carbon capture technology can be applied to coal-fired power stations to generate electricity with low emissions – the Callide Oxyfuel project.

CO2 Solutions, COAL21 see promise in enzymatic technology for carbon capture

CO2 Solutions and COAL21 Ltd say tests of CO2’s enzymatic technology have indicated that the process could be applied to coal-fired power plants for post-combustion carbon capture.

CO2 is a company focused on enzyme-enabled carbon capture, while COAL21 operates the COAL21 Fund to support the pre-commercial demonstration of low emission coal technologies (such as carbon capture and geological storage).

The technology developed by CO2, according to the company, lowers the cost barrier to carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration (CCUS), positioning it as a viable CO2 mitigation tool, as well as enabling industry to derive profitable new products from these emissions. The company has built an extensive patent portfolio covering the use of carbonic anhydrase, or analogues thereof, for the efficient post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide with low-energy aqueous solvents.

A study, conducted over the past 18 months by PROCOM Consultants, examined the performance of CO2’s enzymatic technology when applied to coal-fired power plants for post-combustion carbon capture. The methodology applied by PROCOM in this study included the development of rate-based models for absorber/stripper, the validation of the enzymatic technology’s heat/mass balance and the key performance parameters and model integration of the enzymatic technology in coal-fired power plants.

The simulation software used was Aspen Plus, with two reference cases modelled US DoE SC reference case (B12B) and a Supercritical (SC) power plant from Queensland, Australia.

In both cases, the performance of the CO2’s enzymatic technology was compared to a known advanced amine technology (Cansolv). CO2 provided two unoptimised process books of its enzymatic technology at different scales based on its ProTreat® models to the PROCOM study.

The main study conclusions reached by PROCOM Consultants, according to the companies, include:

  • The enzymatic technology appears well suited to coal-based industrial plants (eg iron and steel, cement) in particular for its tolerance to the oxides in flue gas and appears to have significant environmental and operational advantages over alternative post-combustion capture technologies, such as advanced amine technology;
  • By using low-grade, residual thermal energy in the form of hot water, the modelled unoptimised enzymatic solvent performance yields marginally more electricity in the context of an existing coal-fired power plant in Australia compared with the advanced amine process.
  • The enzymatic technology’s tolerance to SOx and NOx contaminants in the flue gas of low-sulphur coal-fired plants provides it with an estimated 30% capital expenditure (capex) advantage relative to the advanced amine technology since there is no requirement to polish this flue gas down to single digit parts per million using Flue Gas Desulphurisation and Selective Catalytic Reduction;
  • Modelling has confirmed that SC coal-fired power plants in Australia have sufficient residual low-grade heat to give the enzymatic technology a slight power efficiency advantage over the advanced amine technology. Moreover, the likely further optimisation of the enzymatic technology would extend this advantage.
  • In addition to being able to use residual, low-grade heat in the form of hot water as its thermal energy, the enzymatic technology could also tap into renewable energy sources such as geothermal and solar thermal sources for its energy requirements, options which are more challenging to the advanced amine technology which requires steam, according to the companies. Tapping into these sources of external renewable heat would potentially significantly reduce the thermal parasitic load of carbon capture;
  • The PROCOM study confirmed the enzymatic process minimises the environmental footprint through the use of an ionic (non-volatile) and environmentally benign solvent;
  • The enzymatic technology converts a portion of the oxide contaminants in the flue gas (SOx and NOx) into high-value sulphates, sulphites, nitrates and nitrites, which accumulate over time in the solvent. As a result, the periodic bleed of this nontoxic solvent creates an opportunity to recover valuable materials, such as potassium nitrate fertiliser, which reduces the overall operating cost of the enzymatic technology. This approach is not available to the advanced amine technology, and;
  • Through expected optimisation, the enzymatic technology could be more favourable than amine-based processes regarding capex and overall energy requirements, and very favourable to amine-based processes regarding aspects related to management of oxide flue gas contaminants.

Richard Surprenant, CO2 Solutions’ Chief Technology Officer, said: “The detailed report prepared by Procom Consultants highlights the low-cost and environmentally friendly qualities of our process. It further confirms the major paradigm shift that the enzymatic technology represents for the carbon capture industry.

“We strongly believe that the future of carbon capture rests on modern, innovative, low environmental footprint, and low-cost technologies. It’s time to face today’s carbon challenge with 21st-century technology.”

Mark McCallum, CEO of COAL21, said the enzymatic technology developed by CO2 Solutions is an “exciting process that holds the promise of lower-cost and environmentally friendly carbon capture”.

He added: “It has demonstrated that it is possible to reduce parasitic energy loads and the overall environmental footprint. It is through the broad application of technologies such as these that we can mitigate carbon emissions from any source, including coal.”

BHP invests in innovative carbon capture, use and storage company

BHP has made a $6 million equity investment into Carbon Engineering Ltd (CE), a Canada-based company leading the development of Direct Air Capture (DAC), a technology with the potential to deliver large-scale negative emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The investment will see BHP obtain a share of the company.

BHP’s Vice President, Sustainability and Climate Change, Fiona Wild, said: “BHP is committed to accelerating the global response to climate change by investing in emerging technologies that have the potential to lead to material reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

“As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in late 2018, if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, technologies that capture and remove CO2 will be required. DAC offers flexibility and potential, and could play a vital role in reducing future global emissions. We hope that this investment can accelerate the development and adoption of this technology.”

DAC is a technology that captures CO2 from atmospheric air and provides it in a purified form for use or storage, according to CE. The company’s DAC technology does this in a closed loop where the only major inputs are water and energy, and the output is a stream of pure, compressed CO2.

This captured, compressed CO2 then offers a range of opportunities to create products and environmental benefits, including production of clean-burning liquid fuels with ultra-low carbon intensity, CE said.

CE’s CEO, Steve Oldham, said: “At CE we’re focused on commercialising technologies that can play a critical role in addressing climate change. As we work to deploy our technologies at large scale around the world, we’re thrilled to welcome investment from industry-leading companies like BHP.”

He said the company’s global reach and experience in executing complex projects, as well as its strategic commitment to reducing emissions, made them an ideal partner to help accelerate the commercialisation and use of CE’s technologies.

“We’re looking forward to working with BHP and our other partners as we progress the development of DAC and AIR TO FUELS™ facilities, and ultimately achieve our goal of delivering affordable, carbon-neutral fuels and significant emissions reductions around the globe,” he said.

Wild said the investment in CE complements BHP’s existing efforts to accelerate the development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) at point sources of CO2 emissions, such as in steel making and power generation. “We have achieved progress in CCUS through partnerships, including with the International CCS Knowledge Centre in Canada and with Peking University. We also support REDD+, the UN programme for reducing atmospheric emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.”

She concluded: “Government support for technologies that capture carbon has been important. However mobilising private capital and supporting market mechanisms to finance technologies that address global emissions will be critical if we are to build a net-zero emissions economy. This investment is a good example of the role that the private sector can play in bringing such technologies to market.”

CE is privately owned and funded by investment or commitments from private investors – including Bill Gates, Murray Edwards, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC, Chevron Technology Ventures, and BHP – and government agencies. To date, CE has led projects funded by Sustainable Development Technologies Canada, British Columbia Innovative Clean Energy Fund, Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp, Industrial Research Assistantship Program, and the US Department of Energy.