CO2 Solutions patented process operated at the 0.5 ton/day scale and demonstrated that it can realistically lower the cost of CO2 capture to well below that associated with current carbon capture technology on the basis of cost per tonne captured, the company said.
The oil sands project will now proceed to the pilot demonstration phase of testing at approximately 15 tonne-CO2/day scale where process performance will be validated in the field towards commercial deployment. To this end, CO2 Solutions is in advanced discussions with a major Canadian energy company to host this pilot installation.
These milestones are included in the Contribution Agreements for the Government of Canada's ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) and Alberta's Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation grants funding the project.
"This significant milestone further confirms the cost-effectiveness of our enzymatic carbon capture technology in the largest-ever scale test of a biocatalytic process for carbon capture," said Evan Price, President and CEO of CO2 Solutions. "Our focus is to advance to the pilot stage of the project and pursue initial commercial deployment opportunities of the technology including those for the beneficial utilization of CO2."
"The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation is pleased to see the innovative carbon capture technology developed by CO2 Solutions move forward to the pilot stage," said CCEMC Chair Eric Newell. "Enzyme-enabled carbon capture is a transformative technology that can help Alberta to reduce GHG emissions and transition to a lower carbon economy."
Industry and government are focused on ways to reduce emissions from the oil sands, with carbon capture and storage (CCS) being a mitigation option of significant interest. However, the cost of conventional CCS technologies is prohibitive to broad commercial deployment. Results from the testing are in line with the previously announced improvement of a least 33% in energy consumption compared to the existing carbon capture technologies for the capture of 90 percent of the CO2 emissions from a typical once-through steam generator in in-situ oil sands operations.
One major improvement over conventional processing is that nil-value energy from the operation is used as the main heat source thus decreasing further the operating costs. Industrially optimized enzyme catalysts employed in the testing demonstrated robust performance both in absorption and solvent regeneration. The solvent employed is less expensive, extremely stable, and environmentally benign compared to conventionally-used solvents. Moreover, it reduces emissions of dangerous by-products to zero.