In extensive bench testing, the new enzyme, named 1T1, has demonstrated longevity and catalytic performance significantly surpassing that of the best third-party enzymes used by CO2 Solutions to date. As such, 1T1 is expected to be the principal enzyme for the Corporation's carbon capture process going forward.
Relative to its peers, 1T1 has a longer lifespan in the CO2 capture process, and delivers greater stability in meeting the required specifications for CO2 capture efficiency. At the same time, initial manufacturing results suggest that the production cost per unit weight of enzyme protein are likely to be substantially less than that for the third-party enzymes used to date. At the enzyme concentration levels required to deliver optimal carbon capture, CO2 Solutions believes this should lead to significantly lower enzyme-related costs, further reducing operating expenses of the capture process.
"The development of 1T1 further improves the already compelling performance and cost advantages of our technology over other technologies available today," said Dr. Louis Fradette, Senior Vice-President, Process Engineering & Chief Technology Officer of CO2 Solutions. "To date, the large-scale adoption of CO2-driven enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has been held back by the limited availability of large volumes of low cost CO2. We believe that the benefits generated by using 1T1 in our process address this issue and increase the potential for these types of applications to become reality. It is a credit to the skills and dedication of the CO2 Solutions' R&D team, who have done extraordinary work in bringing the initial concept to reality in an exceptionally short time frame."
The Corporation has outsourced production of 1T1 to a third party, and industrial-scale batches of 1T1 have been manufactured. With 1T1, CO2 Solutions can produce the enzyme through a number of potential contract manufacturers, while controlling the associated intellectual property.
"De-risking all the elements of our carbon capture technology as we move closer to commercialization is a priority for the Corporation", stated Evan Price, CO2 Solutions' CEO. "With 1T1, we now have full ownership over what is arguably the most crucial element in our technology, thus securing the supply chain. Further down the line, ownership of the enzyme has the potential of creating additional revenue opportunities by CO2 Solutions becoming a supplier of 1T1 to externally operated carbon capture facilities."
The new enzyme will be used in the upcoming tests at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), scheduled for December.
1T1 was developed with the financial assistance of the Government of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).