Direct Air Capture of CO2 - an Overview of Carbon Engineering's Technology and Pilot Plant Development

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Geoffrey Holmes and Adrian Corless, Carbon Engineering, Calgary, AB, Canada
At Carbon Engineering, we are developing and commercializing technology to scrub CO2 directly from atmospheric air at industrial scale. By providing atmospheric CO2 for use in fuel production, we can enable production of transportation fuels with ultra-low carbon intensities, which command price premiums in the growing set of constrained fuels markets such as California’s LCFS. We are a Calgary based startup founded in 2009 with 10 employees, and we are considered a global leader in the direct air capture (DAC) field.

We will review CE's DAC technology, based on a wet-scrubbing “air contactor” which absorbs CO2 into aqueous solution, and a chemical looping “regeneration” component, which liberates pure CO2 from this aqueous solution while re-making the original absorption chemical. CE's DAC tecnology exports purified atmospheric CO2, combined with the combustion CO2 from plant energy usage, as the end product.

We will also discuss CE's 2014-2015 end-to-end Pilot Demonstration Unit. This is a $7M technology demonstration plant that CE is building with the help of key industrial partners and equipment vendors. Vendor design and engineering requirements have been used to specify the pilot air contactor, pellet reactor, calciner, and slaker modules, as well as auxiliary systems. These modules will be run for several months to obtain the engineering and performance data needed for subsequent commercial plant design, as well as to test the residual integration risks associated with CE's process. By the time of the AGU conference, the pilot is expected to be in late stages of fabrication or early stages of site installation.