A Breath of Fresh Air
By Anna Guy
With reducing carbon dioxide emissions one of the most important issues of our time, industrial companies must seek out environmentally responsible and innovative ways to operate their business, or fall by the wayside.
CO2 Solutions offers companies in the industrial sectors (think Pulp and Paper, Metallurgical, Oil and Gas, Cement, and Power), and any company who produces CO2, a better—and profitable—way to manage those emissions.
The technology behind CO2 solutions is found in Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration and (CCUS), a technology whereby CO2 is captured from fuel combustion or industrial processes, then can be put to use in a number of applications (or simply buried underground), and prevented from being released into the atmosphere.
Behind the proprietary technology is a system that uses an enzyme which all living organisms use to regulate their carbon cycle (carbonic anhydrase) to capture up to 90 per cent of CO2 directly from the industries’ smoke stacks—acting in essence as an Industrial Lung.
A world-class leader in this field, CO2 Solutions has devised one of the most cost-effective methods for CCUS. Perhaps even more impressive, CO2 solutions is on the cutting edge of commercialization of pure CO2, something that is not only good for the environment, but business too. CO2 Solutions is also pioneering new second generation applications for the CO2 utilization, which means exiting new horizons for the technology.
“CO2 solutions was founded in 1997, initially to help remove CO2 in the ambient air of Canadian submarines,” says Evan Price, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We worked off of that to imagine a system that would be used in an industrial process.”
“Once captured, you can use CO2, convert it to a product, or sequester it by pumping it underground, which also can have benefits in the oil and gas sector in what is known as Enhanced Oil Recovery, or EOR,” says Price.
Traditional first-generation applications for CO2 are green houses, beverage carbonation and the wider food industry, water purification, and pulp and paper. As an example, CO2 Solutions works with a pulp mill in the Saint-Félicien region of Quebec which then used the captured CO2 in the adjacent Serres Toundra greenhouse facility, and is predicted to generate $750,000 in annual revenues.
“The beauty of CO2 Solutions’ technology is that it not only helps mitigate carbon, and thereby promises to reduce the increasing liability associated with emitting carbon, but it also enables an economically viable reuse of CO2,” says Lyne Ricard, Executive Director at BBA, the engineering partner on the Serres Toundra project.
Price says that there is an even bigger market in second-generation applications that involves transforming CO2 into fuels, chemicals, food, and materials. “There is a lot of novel and innovative technology coming along,” says Price. “It is a way of making CO2 the food stock of this new CO2 utilization industry.”
Valorisation Carbone Québec (VCQ) Project
As a way of demonstrating these novel and innovative technologies, CO2 solutions has created the VCQ project to develop and demonstrate concrete, commercially viable solutions for captured CO2 in various applications in order to reduce GHG emissions.
Created with the support of the Quebec Government and with participation of Laval University, VCQ is the world’s most comprehensive capture and utilization demonstration. Established in 2017 and set to be completed by 2019, the VCQ project is essentially a test area with two stations: one which demonstrates the carbon capture technology of CO2 Solutions; and the second, which demonstrates these second-generation CO2 utilization applications.
“CO2 Solutions believes that Quebec has an important opportunity to take a global leadership position in developing this new economic sector,” says Price. “The VCQ project, made possible thanks to the provincial government’s support, is a very important first step towards achieving this objective. Through its leadership, CO2 Solutions intends to mobilize a large number of partners, and jointly help make the VCQ project the benchmark in Quebec, Canada and throughout the world in the field of carbon capture and reuse.”
The VCQ has also demonstrated the company’s process leads the industry for cost savings, and environmental friendliness, while working to develop and commercialize the technology for stationary sources of carbon pollution. VCQ has quickly amassed high-profile members, including Parachem, a limited partnership jointly owned by Suncor Energy Inc. and Société Investissement Québec, and Hatch Ltd.
McKinsey & Company has described the carbon capture and reuse industry as an annual $1 trillion opportunity in their report for the Global CO2 Initiative. CO2 Solutions has proved itself to be a company to watch, one whose ample contributions are still in the beginning stages. By providing low-cost and environmentally friendly solutions for carbon capture from industrial emission sources, CO2 Solutions’ provides a breath of fresh air in the business world.