CO2 Solutions optimistic so far on CO2-capture test work in North Dakota

CO2 Solutions Inc. (TSX-V: CST) announced Sept. 14 the schedule of its pilot testing of Rotating Packed Bed (RPB) equipment at the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC).

CO2 Solutions thinks that, based on bench-scale work to date, the RPB has shown strong potential to further reduce the size and capital cost of an enzyme-accelerated carbon capture process. The tests, planned from Sept. 12 through Sept. 26, with a provision for a longer test period, if required, are expected to further validate the performance of the RPB at EERC’s facility using natural gas and coal flue gas. The objective of these tests is to confirm earlier bench-scale test findings that indicated the potential of replacing significantly larger (20 to 50 times) conventional packed tower contactors for CO2 capture with RPB equipment.

“The outcome, if our earlier results are confirmed, is that implementation of our technology will be even lower cost than what we have demonstrated thus far,” said Evan Price, President and CEO of CO2 Solutions. “The logical follow up will be to insert RPB equipment into commercial scale projects for the capture, utilization and/or sequestration of carbon from large industrial emitters. At large scale, we anticipate achieving capture costs below those associated with emitting carbon, creating a strong economic incentive for the adoption of our technology. We believe we have the technology that will aid industry in meeting the ambitious GHG emission reduction targets, introduced following COP21, in a way that is viable and that will allow industry to remain competitive.”

The earlier tests of the RPB equipment using the corporation’s proprietary enzyme–based solvent, carried out at bench-scale, demonstrated CO2 absorption rates at least five times higher than conventional amine solvent processes. Furthermore, the technology may be considered environmentally benign, as opposed to amine systems which produce toxic waste streams. Being significantly smaller than conventional packed towers, the RPB requires very fast reaction kinetics between the CO2 and the solvent, which to date has only been possible using CO2 Solutions’ proprietary enzyme-enabled solvent, the company added.

The upcoming tests at EERC will measure the capture efficiency of the RPB at approximately 10 times the capacity of the largest tests conducted to date with this type of equipment. Third party verification of test data is expected to provide the required validation of the RPB in a carbon capture setting, as well as provide data for scale up to commercial applications. The cost advantages of the RPB relate mainly to its small size, leading to reduced capital spending. An additional advantage of the RPB is the reduced footprint, which provides the ability to address industries where space is at a premium.

This testing is supported financially in part by a grant extension from Natural Resources Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative program in the amount of $605,000.

CO2 Solutions works in the field of enzyme-enabled carbon capture and has been actively working to develop and commercialize the technology for stationary sources of carbon pollution. CO2 Solutions 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.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.