VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Nobel Laureate and former US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu has joined the Board of Directors of Inventys Thermal Technologies, a company that has developed a breakthrough method for capturing CO2 from coal and natural gas power plants.
It is significantly less costly to build and operate than competing systems. The captured CO2 can be injected underground for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), or can be used in industrial applications such as chemical manufacturing.
“Carbon capture is a critical technology to move us to a clean energy future and Inventys has developed a practical, compact, and low cost system that allows existing fossil fuel power plants to dramatically lower their carbon emissions,” Dr. Chu said. “I look forward to serving on their board and helping guide the company forward.”
The Inventys system, called VeloxoTherm™ uses significantly less energy than competing systems, and this, combined with low capital costs, results in a capture cost of about $15 per ton of CO2, less than 1/5th the cost of current processes. In addition, the Inventys system is less than 1/10th the size of competing systems and is small enough to retrofit to existing power plants by connecting it directly to the flue stack.
Dr. Chu is currently the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology atStanford University. Before serving as Secretary of Energy in the first Obama administration, Dr. Chu was Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Chu won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for “development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.”
Andre Boulet, CEO of Inventys, said “Dr. Chu brings an incredibly broad expertise to Inventys — from molecular interactions to the macroeconomics of energy systems, and everything in between. We are thrilled to have him join our board.”
“I have been admiring Dr. Chu’s work since he led LBNL to preeminence in energy research. His deep knowledge and broad experience will bring tremendous value to Inventys,” said Dan Miller, Managing Director of The Roda Group, the lead investor in Inventys and the largest private investor in renewable oils company Solazyme.
The Inventys VeloxoTherm™ system is based on a Low Pressure Thermal Swing method. Put simply, a slowly rotating structure holds a proprietary material that traps carbon dioxide when it is cool and releases it when it is hot. On half of the rotation cycle, flue gas from the power plant is passed through the material and the CO2 in the flue gas is captured. On the other half of the cycle, steam is injected into the material to release the CO2, the leftover steam is condensed out leaving pure CO2, and the material cools down to be ready for the next cycle. The CO2 is then pumped underground for CCS or EOR applications, or used as a feedstock for chemical manufacturing or other industrial applications.
Inventys Thermal Technologies is based in Vancouver, Canada. More information about the company is available at http://www.inventysinc.com.