CO2 Solutions completes commissioning of its first commercial carbon capture unit
By CO2 Solutions Inc.
April 30, 2019 – CO2 Solutions Inc. is pleased to report that, after only two weeks, it has successfully completed the commissioning of its first commercial carbon capture unit. The project, with Fibrek General Partnership, a subsidiary of Resolute Forest Products Inc., and Serres Toundra Inc., involved the deployment of a 30-tonne per day (tpd) CO2 capture unit and ancillary equipment at the RFP pulp mill in Saint-Félicien, Que. and the commercial reuse of the captured CO2 by the adjacent Serres Toundra greenhouse facility.
By CO2 Solutions Inc.
As part of the commissioning phase, the CO2 Solutions contracted Tetra Tech, an independent consulting engineering services firm, to review the unit’s operational efficiency and deliver a performance audit report. In particular, the company sought to validate the unit’s nominal capacity of 30 tonnes-CO2 per day and the ability of the pulp mill to provide all the thermal requirements of the unit with only residual low-grade energy (i.e. hot water).
The audit confirmed the following:
- The unit and its components are accurately sized to produce at least 30 tonnes-CO2 per day under normal operating conditions.
- The quantity of thermal energy required by the reboiler of the unit is only 2.4 GJ/tonne-CO2.
- The required thermal energy is entirely provided by the pulp mill through residual, low-grade energy (i.e. hot water) that has nil-value and no parasitic impact on the mill’s energy balance.
- The quantity of electrical energy required to operate the unit translates into a cost of only CAD $7.35/tonne-CO2 (or less than USD 5.00/tonne-CO2).
Along with these excellent results confirmed by the audit, the company recorded two additional significant operating outcomes during this commissioning period; the first is related to enzyme half-life (i.e. durability), and the second is related to the quality of the CO2 produced for delivery to the greenhouse.
Regarding enzyme half-life, the configuration of the unit enabled a doubling of the enzyme’s half-life relative to what had been observed in earlier large-scale demonstrations of the company’s technology. This gain is the result of modifications to the process following the 2015 Valleyfield demonstration and clearly demonstrates the cost reduction potential of the company’s enzymatic technology.
With respect to CO2 quality, an analysis of the samples drawn from the unit confirmed its high degree of purity which was well within the stringent guidelines required by greenhouse operators. This purity level was obtained even though the unit draws raw and unpolished flue gas from the pulp mill’s lime kiln, which mimics conditions similar to those found in cement plants and other industrial applications.
“We are very proud of the outstanding results confirmed by Tetra Tech,” stated Richard Surprenant, CO2 Solutions’ Chief Technology Officer. “Our Saint-Félicien capture unit represents several firsts for the global carbon capture industry:
- First commercial deployment of an enzymatic carbon capture process.
- First carbon capture unit in the forest industry.
- First carbon capture from unpolished emissions of a lime kiln.
- First capture unit using only residual thermal energy in the form of hot water (and only 2.4 GJ/tonne-CO2), creating no parasitic load on the host plant, a critical factor in reducing the overall cost of carbon capture.
- First unit making extensive use of C-PVC as a low-cost material in a carbon capture unit.
Total combined cost of the thermal energy and the electricity required by the unit comes to only CAD $7.35/tonne-CO2 (or less than USD 5.00/tonne-CO2), which to our knowledge is an absolute low for a carbon capture unit of any scale.
The fact that we have been able to demonstrate such an outstanding performance after only two weeks of commissioning and to achieve such a high-quality product from an unpolished flue gas is testimony to the simplicity and durability of our enzymatic technology. And of course, our enzymatic process doesn’t use any toxic materials or inputs, and generates no toxic wastes, effluents or emissions. It’s a cleantech that is truly clean!!”
The construction of the Saint-Félicien CO2 capture plant was partly financed with grants from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and a loan from Canada Economic Development (DEC). This project also received financial support from the Green Fund through the Technoclimat program of Quebec Energy Transition (Transition énergétique Québec). Earlier research and development costs have been subsidized, in part, through grants from the Natural Resources Canada Energy Innovation Program.
During the coming weeks, the company and its partners, Resolute Forest Products and Serres Toundra, will prepare for the expected transition to commercial operation of the unit providing a stream of clean captured CO2 to the nearby Serres Toundra greenhouses. This milestone will confirm the enzymatic technology’s attainment of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 8.
The company continues to attract strong interest from corporations worldwide seeking a proven, cost-effective and environmentally friendly CO2 capture technology. CO2 Solutions believes the breakthrough capture technology it has developed can fulfil the industry’s needs.
“We are very appreciative of the support and cooperation we have received during the project from our partners Resolute Forest Products and Serres Toundra. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the contractors that have helped CO2 Solutions successfully deliver this project. This 30-tonnes per day unit is an important evolutionary step toward providing the technology scale-up; a small but important step compared to where this technology is heading. Our proprietary technology, with this Saint-Félicien Unit, will provide recurring revenue for the Corporation and be of interest to many parties from various industrial segments,” said Evan Price, CO2 Solutions’ CEO.