B.C. tech company begins work on U.S. carbon capture projects

The facility is intended to be replicated for multiple million tonne deployments in Texas.

Carbon capture design by Carbon Engineering

A rendering shows the design of one of Carbon Engineering’s facilities. – Carbon Engineering

Key Takeaways:

  • Carbon Engineering has started design work on a carbon capture project in Texas.
  • The project is expected to be a model for other facilities in the region.
  • The company also said it is on the verge of a breakthrough that could improve capture efficiency by 20 per cent.

The Whole Story:

Carbon Engineering (CE), a B.C.-based carbon capture technology company, is booming in the South. 

The company announced it has started front-end planning and engineering for direct Air capture (DAC) facilities at a second site in the U.S., in Kleberg County, Texas. 

Company officials stated that the site is expected to provide access for the potential construction of multiple DAC facilities that would be capable of collectively removing up to 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually for dedicated sequestration.

Additional facilities on the horizon

The company has been contracted by its U.S. development partner, 1PointFive, for the front-end planning and engineering of a one-megatonne DAC facility that is intended to be replicated into multi-million tonne deployments. 

The design is being adapted from the first large-scale, commercial facility to use Carbon Engineering’s DAC technology, which is already under construction in the Texas Permian Basin, and is anticipated to form the basis of accelerated large-scale deployments in the U.S.

The company explained that these additional DAC facilities will be located in the Gulf Coast region, which they say provides another site with ideal pore space for dedicated sequestration. At this location, the DAC facilities will be paired with standalone geologic sequestration to deliver secure and verifiable CO2 removal. 

Project timelines accelerating

The company noted that this allows for a cost-effective solution that hard-to-decarbonize industries can combine with emissions reduction programs to achieve true net zero.

Using its recently-announced deployment approach to enable global build-out of plants, CE says that it is performing this work at an accelerated pace. CE expects to complete this work roughly 50 per cent faster than earlier projects. Once complete, CE will have produced the required materials to be ready to replicate megatonne DAC trains within multi-megatonne facilities.

“This work brings together all our progress from the past months to get us ready for major deployment in the U.S.,” said Daniel Friedmann, CE’s CEO. “Working hand in hand with our partners at Occidental and 1PointFive, we’ve been focused on building an accelerated deployment approach, while simultaneously beginning construction of the first, large-scale commercial facility in Texas. Now, with this ‘copy and paste’ megatonne DAC facility, we’re working towards widespread, multi-million tonne deployments across the U.S.”

More research underway

The company continues to research carbon capture, utilization and story at its technology development and Innovation Centre in Squamish, B.C. CE is also continuously improving its DAC technology. CE officials said they are currently testing an improved capture material at the centre and expects to validate this development for commercial rollout by the end of the year. Initial tests indicate this new material could produce an approximately 20 percent improvement in capture efficiency, which could result in further energy and cost savings for commercial facilities.

“The Innovation Centre has been instrumental in validating technology improvements at scale,” said Scott Willis, CE’s VP of technology and engineering. “The centre is designed to provide our scientists, engineers and technicians with an environment where they can continuously test and prove technology advancements which can be placed into commercial plant designs. It operates on a ‘run-replace-run’ philosophy, validating commercial operation over extended periods and continuously improving our future plants.”

CE officials added that the U.S. carbon capture industry could see a major boom following the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which includes increased incentives for U.S. DAC projects. 

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