Canada’s Billion-Dollar Carbon-Free Energy Project

Selling out to fossil fuels would be a great political move, but it would be a terrible economic one for anyone in Canada or the United States. A new carbon-free technology, Carbon Engineering, has…

Canada's Billion-Dollar Carbon-Free Energy Project

Selling out to fossil fuels would be a great political move, but it would be a terrible economic one for anyone in Canada or the United States.

A new carbon-free technology, Carbon Engineering, has been designed in such a way that its plants won’t run on petroleum products for at least 30 years.

The carbon-free company uses what they call “direct carbon sequestration” or DCCS—an advanced form of existing techniques, like injecting volcanic ash into the Earth. They extract not just carbon dioxide but also methane, methane carbon dioxide and even several industrial byproducts, like methanol and methane heat.

“Our approach is completely free of impact on the landscape,” said CEO Dr. David Keith. “We want to get to net zero emissions without imposing any real environmental cost on developing countries.”

DCCS draws carbon dioxide and methane, leaving the industrial byproducts, and creates a stable supply of methane. The company has decided to use the methane and liposomes, which will flow from their plants into the atmosphere, to help those developing countries that need the economic and environmental benefits that carbon capture and sequestration can give them.

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The emulsified project, which uses a “flow with” approach, lets users extract both gases and economic products and make themselves richer by absorbing the carbon dioxide. The emulsified project uses large-scale heat collectors. These large devices produce electricity to heat the plant and require no water.

Another part of the Emulsified project is that the systems are flexible.

“They can take multiple fossil-free sources and produce clean, green energy,” said Keith.

Combine these technologies and you have the first successful full-scale pilot scale DCCS carbon-free plant in the world, that will use millions of dollars in state funding to produce methane to provide clean, renewable electricity. The facility, expected to launch in late 2020, will be a 320-megawatt addition to their plant in Alberta, Canada. They plan to expand their greenhouse and hydrogen plant in Florida.

Being the first to build this innovative plant is not only a major economic opportunity for Carbon Engineering—they are also hoping to spark the creative minds of other entrepreneurs.

“We are in talks with businesses,” said Keith. “We also expect Canadian regulators to regulate DCCS as a Class 2 environmental technology, which would be a major milestone for us and the Canadian Carbon Society.”

For Canadians, Carbon Engineering and this exciting, low-carbon technology is actually saving them from climate change. The company’s plan to dump emissions into the atmosphere will not only help developing countries like Egypt and India but could ultimately help Canadians reduce their own carbon footprint.

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