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Carbon Market Review


Northcarbon America’s premier carbon publication North America’s premier publication Inaugural Issue 2016

SaskPower leads by example $20 million up for grabs for breakthroughs in C02 Integrated Test Center breaks ground in Wyoming

THE QUEST Energy improves and enriches our lives in countless ways. In many places around the world, energy keeps people alive. But that simple relationship between energy and our way of life is changing. In this century, we have to figure out how to produce more energy with less carbon. Lower carbon forms of energy will continue to play a greater role in our lives. But as long as hydrocarbons are demanded for energy we have a responsibility to learn how to reduce the CO2 generated by hydrocarbons. This is why we believe in the potential of carbon capture and storage to help address climate change. With our co-venturers Chevron and Marathon and the support of the Governments of Alberta and Canada, we have just started up the first carbon capture and storage facility in the oil sands. We call this project Quest. Quest will safely capture and store more than one million tonnes of CO2 underground each year. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of about 250,000 cars. We know this is just the beginning but it’s part of a growing global number of carbon capture and storage projects. There is a long and challenging road ahead of all of us. But we are committed to the Quest.

Carbon Market Review North America’s premier carbon publication

is published by DEL Communications Inc. Suite 300, 6 Roslyn Road Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0G5 President

David Langstaff Publisher

Jason Stefanik Managing Editor

Shayna Wiwierski Contributing writers

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Contents 4 Message from the editor, Shayna Wiwierski 5 Message from the Minister of the Economy; Minister Responsible for SaskPower, the Honourable Bill Boyd

8 Message from Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd

9 Carbon capture world:

Opening up on many fronts

12 SaskPower leads by example:

Boundary Dam CCS project a first

14 The role of CCS in the quest for cleaner energy

18 Captured CO to produce ‘green’ crude 2

from depleted Alberta reservoirs

20 Company offers pilot and test facilities for low carbon technologies

22 Canadian expertise: Leaders in CCS technology

24 Prairie Climate Centre maps our changing landscape

5 Innovation in Canada’s oil sands production 2 26 Reimagining carbon dioxide: XPRIZE offers $20 million for breakthroughs in CO2 conversion

28 Integrated test center construction kicks off In Wyoming

30 CO2 Solutions Inc.:

Nature’s power for carbon capture

32 Turning carbon into a solution for the cement and concrete industry

34 Skyonic’s CO capture technology: 2

Reducing emissions while generating revenues Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


editor’s message SHAYNA WIWIERSKI


rime Minister Justin Trudeau made history in more ways than one when he was sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister. At the end of 2015, he appointed Catherine McKenna as the Minister of Environment and Climate

Change, showing both Canada and the world how important climate change in the environment is to the federal government. Climate change and the reduction of CO2 in both our nation and around the world is a huge priority for everyone. In fact, it’s so huge that virtually every major nation around the globe signed onto the Paris Agreement on climate change. We here in Canada are making headway, with the introduction of many carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, including those at the Boundary Dam Power Station in Saskatchewan and Shell Canada’s Quest project in Alberta. CCS is so important that there is even a contest offering up $20 million (yes, you read that correctly) to those who can create a breakthrough in CO2 conversion. So, with that being said, I would like to introduce you to the inaugural issue of the Carbon Market Review magazine. In these pages, you will find stories on carbon capture from around Canada and the United States. We look at innovative projects going on around the continent, as well as how carbon dioxide is being transferred into reusable energy to create a better world. I truly hope you enjoy this issue, and if you have any questions, concerns, or story ideas, please send them my way. Shayna Wiwierski @DELCommInc


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

Climate change and the

reduction of CO2 in both our nation and

around the world is a huge priority for everyone. In fact, it’s that virtually

so huge

every major nation around the globe signed onto the

Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, Sask., which is designed to capture one-million tonnes of CO2 a year.




askatchewan’s population is at its highest level in history – more than 1.1 million people and growing. Tens of thousands of people are moving here and businesses are

investing billions. These exciting and challenging times also bring an increasing demand for power

in the province. SaskPower, our province’s primary electricity provider, is making historic investments – over $10 billion from now to 2024 – to maintain and improve our electricity system to ensure it meets the growing demand for power. All of this investment is needed as infrastructure ages and demand climbs. SaskPower added over 8,000 new customers in 2015, and new records for consumption continue to be set – another new peak was reached on Jan. 11, 2016. SaskPower is working to meet demand. At the same time, the company is developing clean electricity options to ensure Saskatchewan can continue to grow while meeting its environmental responsibilities. In October 2014, SaskPower broke new ground when it launched the Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Project at the Boundary Dam Power Station near Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


Estevan, Saskatchewan. The BD 3 project is the first commercial

All sources of power have pros and cons, and the goal is a

power plant in the world to operate with a fully integrated

diversified portfolio of options that balances reliability, cost

carbon capture unit. Boundary Dam is designed to capture

and environmental impact.

one-million tonnes of CO2 a year. As with all new technology applications, especially at commercial scale, it has taken time to reach full design performance. However, performance continues to improve and SaskPower is on track to capture approximately

This will be done in a way that works for the people of our province, balancing the priority of reaching this target with making sure residents continue to have the around-the-clock

800,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2016. Regular performance updates are

power they need.

available on

As the first step to achieving this target, the plan to expand

Today, about 25 per cent of SaskPower’s generation capacity

wind power will help SaskPower add more renewable

today comes from renewable sources, including hydro and

electricity to the system, while making the best use of

wind. SaskPower has about 220 megawatts (MW) of wind

Saskatchewan’s world-class wind resource. Wind power has become much more


economic as technology has developed. SaskPower has been able to understand how wind operates on the grid so it can be added in a way that balances the priorities of maintaining a sustainable and diversified generation mix with the delivery of reliable and cost-effective power to customers. The longer-term goal is to have 30 per cent wind power capacity by 2030. Future wind generation will be developed through competitive procurement by independent power producers. Solar power is also being explored. The International Energy capacity, or enough to power nearly 100,000 homes and

Agency has said the sun could be the world’s largest source

businesses already, and about 400 homes and businesses in

of electricity by 2050. Right now, SaskPower has about four

Saskatchewan use solar power as a secondary power supply

megawatts of solar power on the system from smaller-scale


customer generation programs.

This is a good start, but we are looking to do more.

SaskPower is interested in looking at utility-scale solar

Over the last year, SaskPower has worked hard to create a plan

projects for Saskatchewan as the cost of solar technology

to significantly increase the amount of renewable electricity in

comes down. The goal is to have 60 MW installed by 2021, and

Saskatchewan’s generation mix – from 25 per cent today to as

100-300 MW installed by 2030. Utility-scale solar generation

much as 50 per cent by 2030. By meeting this target, SaskPower

will be developed through competitive procurement through

will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40 per

IPPs, potential partnerships with the First Nations Power

cent from 2005 levels.

Authority, and community-driven projects.


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


In addition, SaskPower is also looking at the potential for more hydro projects and hydro imports from other provinces. SaskPower currently purchases 25 MW of electricity capacity from Manitoba Hydro to meet a growing demand for electricity in the province’s far north. There is also an agreement with Manitoba Hydro for 100 MW of hydro power from that province beginning in 2020. As well, SaskPower has joined with Natural Resources Canada to support Saskatoonbased geothermal company Deep Earth Energy Production (DEEP) in its feasibility study of geothermal in southern Saskatchewan. DEEP is now working to further evaluate the viability of geothermal as a renewable electricity source for our province. The cost of adding more renewable power is expected to be manageable. SaskPower forecasts the impact to customers in the first year will be less than $1 per month. However, the total cost will be spread out over a period of 15 years, as the new

facilities and infrastructure and comply with new and emerging

renewable generation facilities are constructed and put into

emissions regulations.


We’re prepared to meet these challenges by investing

After 15 years, the difference in customer bills will be

in SaskPower’s system, evaluating all options to replace

approximately five per cent more than it would have otherwise

conventional coal and working with private power producers,

been. The overall premium of the increased target for renewables

communities and First Nations to add more clean power.

will depend on many factors, including generation technologies,

Our ultimate goal is to continue to produce and deliver

emissions regulations, future natural gas prices, and system

reliable, sustainable, cost-effective power to the people of

integration costs. As technology improves, we anticipate that


the costs of renewable energy will continue to fall.

More information on SaskPower’s renewable

These are exciting and challenging times ahead as we

energy plans can be found at

continue to work to meet increasing demand, renew our aging

our-power-future/renewables-roadmap. r Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016





n behalf of the Government of Alberta, I would like to congratulate the editors of Carbon Market Review magazine on the publication of their inaugural issue. Timely information on advances in carbon

reduction technologies play an important role in the future of lower-

carbon energy – not only in Alberta, but around the world. The last few months have presented a real shift for Alberta, both in terms of our commitment and actions on climate change, and in how we are perceived in Canada and around the world. For too long, our province was thought to be lagging behind the rest of the world in environmental policy. Many people had accepted the myth that energy-producing jurisdictions cannot be environmental leaders. But Alberta has shown the world that we can, and we’ve shown that the right environmental policies can gain support from industry and environmental groups alike, while at the same time encouraging significant emissions reductions. By implementing our Climate Leadership Plan, which includes carbon pricing, ending coal pollution, capping oil sands emissions, and reducing methane emissions, Alberta is showing the world a firm commitment to addressing climate change in a way that invests in our economy and protects our environment. Congratulations once again on the launch of Carbon Market Review. I look forward to the contributions this magazine will make to Alberta’s climate leadership efforts. r


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

Carbon capture


opening up on

many fronts

By Leonard Melman


ew subjects have captured the global imagination in recent decades as has the general category of global warming (GM), or more recently, climate change (CC). Despite some prominent objectors, a general worldwide consensus has developed that the future of the world is truly at risk due to these phenomena. For example, President Barack Obama recently declared that, “…today, there is no greater threat to our planet than climate change”.

Thanks to the efforts of public personalities, such as former American vice-president Al Gore and noted Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, and building on the impact of studies such as the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), concern about both GW and CC has grown to the point that as of April 2016 virtually every major nation on Earth has signed onto the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Central to virtually all important discussions regarding these ominous threats, one great concern has dominated, namely dramatically reducing carbon emissions on a truly international scale – and this goal is spawning a potentially major new industry called carbon capture. Given the ever-expanding global force behind climate change initiatives, potential growth for this new industry appears to be virtually unlimited.

Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


In essence, carbon capture can be described as preventing carbon dioxide (CO2), released by burning fossil fuels for energy generation or through industrial usage, from entering the atmosphere. Scientists have discovered three basic methods of accomplishing this goal; pre-combustion, post-combustion, and oxyfuel combustion. According to the Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA) website, precombustion involves converting solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel into a mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and then burning the highly flammable hydrogen for energy generation or clean motor energy fuel, while diverting the carbon dioxide into either storage or other utilization. The CCSA described postcombustion as capturing carbon dioxide in a suitable fluid after initial combustion and oxyfuel combustion involves burning the carbon-loaded fossil fuels in pure oxygen rather than normal air, a process which produces a more concentrated CO2 stream for easier purification. Once the carbon has been captured, there are two distinctly different approaches toward its disposition. These are carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the other is carbon capture and utilization (CCU). Each method involves substantially different concepts. In terms of storage, since the potential amount of recoverable CO2 is infinitely greater than the demand represented by present applications, virtually all the

Once the carbon has been captured, there are two distinctly different approaches toward its disposition. These are carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the other is carbon capture and utilization (CCU). Each method involves substantially different concepts.

excess CO2 involved would be considered to be waste material, which then must be permanently removed to secure storage facilities. One method of storage is the injection of CO2 into underground geologic formations, particularly including vast areas which have been left empty due to prior extraction of petroleum or mineral resources. Another is the injection of CO2 into deep underground natural gas formations, which would be designed to maximize recovery of the natural gas, while simultaneously providing storage for the left-behind CO2. It has been estimated that there are less than two-dozen CCS facilities presently in operation, under construction, or in the planning stage, and all are relatively small in comparison to the potentially vast recoveries involved. The largest of these CCS operations involves the total capture to date of only 27 million tons of carbon, while the American Department of Energy (DOE) suggests the total future volume of carbon available for storage in the USA alone will ultimately total between 1.8 and 20 trillion tons. Countries with the most-advanced current or planned operations include such resource-rich nations as Canada, Saudi Arabia, America, and Australia. CCU is the other important area of activity within the carbon capture field and many observers believe it may have greater possibilities than CO2 storage. A recent paper from the Center for Low Carbon Futures (CLCF) identified several promising areas of future significant utilization applications including bio-oils, chemicals, fertilizers, and alternative fuels – all of which appear capable of reducing fossil fuel usage.


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

Specific research projects appear to hold particular promise. Examples of these research areas include the use of captured CO2 in combination with mineral and industrial waste products to form construction compounds; applying CO2 to cure concrete, which would also allow for the permanent storage of otherwise waste CO2 within the concrete; reduction of alkalinity in aluminum mining slurry; enhancing conversion of algae into protein foods; development of alternative fertilizer products and conversion of CO2 in combination with hydrogen to produce methanol. Another promising area of ongoing development is the concept of using captured CO2 for desalinization, which could help alleviate growing clean drinking water shortages. One of the more esoteric developments in the CCU field is the application of recovered carbon to the promising field of graphene product development. Nobel prize winning research showed that graphene itself is an ultra-thin material with strong bonding characteristics which might spawn entire new industries and captured carbon could become an essential contributor to that, promising new areas of industry and commerce. Both CCS and CCU face similar problems since an enormous amount of scientific investigation must take place before economic processes can be discovered and incorporated in order to handle the staggering volumes of CO2 which might result from successful carbon capture operations. Infrastructure problems, such as transporting captured CO2 to either storage or final utilization alone, must be overcome. One ideal solution would be to use pipelines, but America’s congress recently noted that, “…There are important unanswered questions about pipeline network requirements, economic regulation, utility cost recovery, regulatory

While some believe that deep underground storage would be secure into the almost infinite future, tragedies have occurred in the past, such as a 1986 leakage of CO2 from natural storage in Cameroon, which killed 1,700 people.

classification of CO2 itself, and pipeline safety.” Other problems involved in CCS could be particularly daunting, particularly the matter of possible future leakage of stored CO2. While some believe that deep underground storage would be secure into the almost infinite future, tragedies have occurred in the past, such as a 1986 leakage of CO2 from natural storage in Cameroon, which killed 1,700 people. In order to resolve the question of how research and developments related to carbon storage and utilization are to be financed, governments are being petitioned to impose various taxation measures to raise these required funds, and the Canadian government is taking a leading role in developing sources of revenues. Some ideas in that direction include the imposition of carbon taxes, and also creating a regulatory framework which would discourage fossil fuel usage by making it more expensive to emit CO2 than to capture it. When the U.S. DOE figures noted earlier are considered, it becomes apparent that the entire subject of carbon capture could truly become one of the most important areas of action scientists, industrialists, governments, regulators, and the general public may face in coming years. It could also become one of the most important sources of both scientific achieve­ ments and environmental advancement we may ever witness in our lifetimes. r

Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016



leads by example

By Melanie Franner

Boundary Dam CCS project a first


Re-invention at its finest

is designed to capture up to 90 per

The Boundary Dam Power Station was

cent of the CO2 produced by the coal

initially built in the late 1950s. Approval

unit. For now, SaskPower operates the

for a retrofit to integrate carbon capture

facility at various levels in order to meet

Within Saskatchewan, it accounts

and storage (CCS) technology into the

its federal emission regulations and its

for 44 per cent of the province’s total

facility was granted in late 2010. Work

commitment to its CO2 offtaker. In 2016,

generation – and produces 70 per cent

commenced in the spring of 2011 and

SaskPower plans on capturing 800,000

of SaskPower’s greenhouse gas (GHG)

was completed in the fall of 2014.

tonnes, or the equivalent of taking

oal-fired generation represents some 40 per cent of electricity production globally.

emissions. But change is underway, thanks to innovative leadership

The result is the ability to produce

200,000 cars off the road.

at least 110 MW of power (enough to

“If any progress at all is to be made in

from SaskPower that has resulted in

power 100,000 Saskatchewan homes),

reducing GHG emissions with a view

extending the life of one of the coal

while significantly reducing the impact

to reducing humankind’s influence

units at the Boundary Dam Power

on the environment. SO2 emissions from

on climate change, then managing

Station, while dramatically reducing

the coal process will be reduced by 100

emissions from the electricity sector

the release of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and

per cent once that part of the process

of the global economy is essential,”

carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

is fully commissioned, and the facility

states Ian Yeates, SaskPower’s director


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

of supply development (carbon capture

Petroleum Technology Research

“SaskPower has indeed led the way

and storage). “The problem is the

Centre’s Aquistore Project.

with the first commercial investment in

“Aquistore currently has a license for

carbon capture for the electricity world,”

300,000 tonnes of sequestered CO2,”

says Yeates. “But while SaskPower

explains Yeates. “This, however, will be

has been the first, there are others

adjusted upwards as necessary.”

embarking on the same journey.”

Yeates is quick to add that CO2 has

Yeates is quick to cite a couple

expense associated with carbon capture is not insignificant. However, the expense associated with the reduction of any emissions – such as NOx, SO2, particulates, Hg, etc. – is also significant, but has been borne in the past. GHGs need to be similarly managed and built into the cost of production on a global basis.” According to Yeates, the carbon capture

been successfully stored underground in Saskatchewan for more than 15 years. The province’s own Weyburn-Midale project is a prime example. It began storing CO2 underground in 2000.

American examples, as well as the Shell Quest project in Alberta that takes CO2 from an oil sands facility near Edmonton and simply sequesters it. With others slowly following in the wings, SaskPower is dedicated to continuing to grow the widespread use and acceptance of CCS technology. “Already, our CCS project has hosted groups from Japan, the U.K., Australia, Europe, and from other places around the world,” concludes Yeates. “SaskPower, in partnership

facility came at a cost of approximately

First commercial-scale

with BHP Billiton, has initiated a CCS

$900 million and the power plant

CCS project

Knowledge Centre in Regina, designed

The SaskPower Boundary Dam project

to help accelerate the development

is the first commercial-scale CCS

and application of CCS technology

project of its kind in the world.

worldwide.” r

refurbishment at about $600 million. But the planned lifespan of the facility has been extended by decades – until 2044. Future refurbishments and refits are possible to prolong its life even further. Key to the success of the Boundary Dam project is the ability to store the captured CO2 indefinitely. To do so, SaskPower has made use of a nearby, deep-underground injection well, called the SaskPower Carbon Storage and Research Centre. A portion of the

Carboniq provides comprehensive solutions to modern carbon challenges.

captured CO2 from the Boundary Dam

• Provision of technical services for all aspects of carbon management, from strategic planning to technological evaluation and project management.

project is being sold and transported

• Support in emissions measurement, inventory and reporting.

by pipeline to the nearby oilfields, where it is being used for enhanced oil

• Provision of outsourced solutions, from innovative technological development to emissions compensation structures.

recovery. The remainder is being stored

• Development of standalone projects in biofuels and bio-derived products.

via the injection well – permanently and safely 3.4 kilometres underground. It is monitored continuously by the

to reconcile energy and the environment Phone : 514-781-1797 Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


The role of

CCS in the quest for

cleaner energy

Quest, located near Edmonton, will capture and store more than onemillion tonnes of CO2 each year.

By Michael Crothers


n late 2015, 195 nations agreed to an historic global climate change deal, now known as the Paris Agreement. While

the agreement provides a way forward for governments and society to drive low-carbon opportunities, meeting its ambitious targets will require significant effort. Visionary

solutions will be needed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At Shell, we are investing in one of these solutions.


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

The International Energy Agency has said that the cost of tackling climate change would be 40 per cent higher without having CCS. They have also said that CCS alone has the potential to deliver 17 per cent of the world’s required CO2 mitigation by 2050, and 50 per cent by 2100. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the best options available for mitigating global GHG emissions. It is one of the only known technologies that can significantly reduce carbon emissions from industrial sectors of the economy, including power generation, cement, chemicals and refining, iron and steel, and upgraders. The financial cost of not having CCS in the energy mix is substantial. The International Energy Agency has said that the cost of tackling climate change would be 40 per cent higher without having CCS. They have also said that CCS alone has the potential to deliver 17 per cent of the world’s required CO2 mitigation by 2050, and 50 per cent by 2100. The Paris Agreement also reinforces the need for CCS in its call for stretch targets. Currently, there are some 15 large-scale CCS projects in operation globally with seven under construction. The combination of more CCS projects worldwide, further development of renewables, and improved energy efficiency are critical if the world is to stay below the 2°C global

Quest is a model for industry, community, and government partnership to develop new technology to combat climate change. Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


temperature increase that scientists tell us we must not

funds to developing renewable energy sources instead.


Other low carbon technology including renewables benefits

Shell has been a leader in CCS development for over a decade as part of our overall commitment to curtail carbon emissions. Our CCS portfolio includes projects either

from public funding, and this is important to drive down the cost. With continued development, CCS will be competitive in dollars per tonne of CO2 removal.

planned or operational in Norway, Australia, and Canada.

The world is in an energy transition. In the coming years,

Shell’s Quest project in Alberta is a key element of Shell’s

renewables will become a larger part of the energy system

portfolio. In November 2015, we celebrated Quest’s official

and we will continue to see the shift to more gas, less coal

start-up alongside dignitaries from more than a dozen

and less carbon-intensive oil – for example, this will happen


in the oil sands as more low-carbon initiatives come on

Quest is located at our Scotford Upgrader, near Edmonton,

stream. And while technologies develop, hydrocarbons

where bitumen from our oil sands operations is processed

can help address current shortcomings for renewables in

into refinery-ready feedstock. Quest will capture and

cost, volume, availability, intermittency, storage, and energy

store more than one-million tonnes of CO2 each year. That


represents one-third of the upgrader’s total emissions and is

The reality is that we will continue to rely on fossil

equivalent to the emissions from about 250,000 cars.

fuels to some degree for the foreseeable future through

What’s more, Quest provides a blueprint to encourage global

the transition to a lower-carbon economy. That reality

adoption of CCS. As part of the funding agreement with the

underscores the critical need for CCS as it is the only

government of Alberta, Shell is openly sharing details on

technology that tackles the absolute level of CO2 stock

Quest’s design, construction and operation to benefit future

in the atmosphere, and it can be deployed quickly. Other

CCS projects worldwide. Quest is a model for industry,

technologies improve efficiency and help to slow down the

community and government partnership to develop new

rate of CO2 increase, but do not reduce the total volume of

technology to combat climate change.

CO2 in the atmosphere.

Quest’s genesis dates back to the turn of the millennium

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its fifth

when Shell first began evaluating options to capture CO2

assessment report says that without any CCS projects the

from the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which involves Shell

cost of achieving the warming target of 2°C increases by as

Canada Energy (operator and 60 per cent owner), Chevron

much as 138 per cent. Meanwhile, the cost of implementing

Canada Limited (20 per cent), and Marathon Oil Canada

CCS could come down as new commercial facilities come

Corporation (20 per cent). From the outset, the project

online, resulting in optimized designs and greater cost

was designed to reduce emissions, with its own gas-fired


cogeneration for electricity and extensive energy efficiency

Unfortunately we have yet to reach a tipping point on CCS

measures. CCS was identified as a potential carbon

adoption. As worldwide commercial-scale deployment of

reduction opportunity, but at the time there were few global

CCS is still in early days, government and public support

projects and many challenges to overcome.

for project development are essential to encourage early

Early demonstration projects are not for the faint-of-heart

demonstration projects. These are necessary to achieve

and public dollars are critical to enable early projects, as

lower costs and greater efficiencies through economy of

we have seen with solar and wind power. Shell was able to


make Quest a reality with funding support of C$865 million from the governments of Alberta and Canada on top of the company’s own investment, and cooperation to develop the policies to enable carbon sequestration in Alberta.

We also know that society will struggle to achieve its climate goals without countries each implementing a meaningful global price for carbon. A promising outcome of COP21 is that Article 6 of the Paris Agreement introduces

While CCS technology has been used for many years, two

the necessary foundation to support the development

existing challenges limit widespread adoption. The first is

of a global carbon emissions market. A robust price on

the current high cost of building CCS projects, which leads

CO2 would encourage countries to adopt CO2 reduction

some to argue that industry and government should allocate

technologies like CCS. The technology can be deployed


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

across a range of sectors, including the coal, steel, chemical

panel served primarily to provide input on the measurement,

and cement industries, making its broader deployment

monitoring and verification program to assure safe storage of


CO2. They were able to provide insight into public concerns

Of course, governments are beholden to their citizens when

around the project and served as valuable liaisons between

it comes to the use of public funds. To that end, government

Shell and the community.

and industry need to demonstrate that CCS is a cost-effective

A key concern heard throughout our consultative process was

way to achieve climate change goals. Projects like Quest will

around safety and potential for local environmental impacts

be helpful in this regard as they contribute to knowledge on

from the project. Speaking with the public about the CCS

costs associated with various GHG reductions.

process and its safety record is an important step towards

The second challenge to widespread CCS adoption is the

gaining local stakeholder acceptance. Just as developers

need for more collaboration on CCS technology, public

of wind and solar projects around the world have found,

acceptance and regulation frameworks. Although CCS

environmental benefits must be reconciled with the concerns

technology is not new, there is strong rationale for industry,

of locally impacted stakeholders.

government and other sectors to work together so that new CCS projects build upon the knowledge gained from previous ones in order to reduce front-end project costs for follow on projects.

With Quest, Shell worked hard to help the public understand that CCS is not an intrusive or risky process; it simply captures CO2 emissions and stores them permanently underground. CCS has been in use without incident for over

Garnering public support in particular will be essential to

40 years. Developing a robust measurement, monitoring

future development. As companies around the world look to

and verification program that was externally verified by

develop CCS projects, they can look to Quest as an example of how to earn social acceptance. For the Quest project, Shell started speaking with a wide variety of stakeholders in the area very early on in project planning stages. Those first face-to-face conversations were critical to provide information, build trust and understand initial reactions. We also sought the input of external experts who could help us credibly build understanding about a technology that was familiar to us, but rather foreign to most people who know little about subsurface geology. Starting in 2008, we began a series of meetings, open houses

international risk management firm DNV also helped quell concerns. These takeaways will be valuable to other countries exploring how to advance CCS more rapidly. We want CCS to reach its full potential, which is why we are taking an active role in sharing knowledge gained through projects like Quest. As an example of this commitment, Shell Canada and the U.S. Department of Energy have announced plans to collaborate on field tests to validate advanced technologies for underground storage of CO2.

and workshops to provide project information and respond to

As the world grapples with combatting climate change, CCS

questions. Based on stakeholder input, we made more than 30

needs to be part of a global mitigation strategy, along with

alterations to Quest’s pipeline route, and showed community

the development of renewable sources, improved energy

members that we took their interests to heart.

efficiency, and an eventual shift in how we power our lives.

In 2012, we established a community advisory panel to

Shell believes CCS, in combination with other GHG reduction

maintain public engagement through Quest’s development

opportunities, is critical to achieving carbon reduction targets

stage. The panel consisted of a cross-section of stakeholders,

in a cost-effective way. And if leaders need a roadmap for

including landowners, regulatory bodies and representatives

developing and deploying CCS, they can find one in Canada’s

from the academic, business, and public service sectors. The

Quest project. r

Michael Crothers is the president of Shell Canada and country chair.

Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


Captured CO2 to produce

‘green’ crude

from depleted Alberta reservoirs

By David Howell


icture a barrel of Alberta oil

“We think we’ve got as low a carbon

sequestered more than one kilometre

that emits less CO2 when it is

(fossil-fuel) energy as there is.”


The ACTL is a 240-kilometre pipeline

“These are mature reservoirs that in

that will transport high-purity

many cases have been around for 40

compressed CO2, captured from

or 50 years,” Jabusch says. “In many

industrial emitters in the Industrial

of them, 30 to 50 per cent of the oil has

That’s part of the important green-oil

Heartland region northeast of Edmonton,

been recovered, but there’s a lot of oil

story Alberta-based Enhance Energy Inc.

to an oilfield at Clive, in central Alberta,

left. CO2 is a feedstock that will help us

is telling with its Alberta Carbon Trunk

where it will be used in enhanced oil

Line (ACTL).


“We sequester more CO2 for every barrel

The CO2 will be injected into depleted

of oil that we produce than that barrel

reservoirs, producing oil that can’t be

will generate when it’s fully combusted,”

reached by conventional methods.

says Kevin Jabusch, company president.

All the CO2 will remain permanently

refined and consumed than the amount of CO2 stored safely

underground during the same barrel’s production.

get another 10 to 20 per cent of the oil out of the ground. “As a result of that, we’ve got an oil revenue stream that we use to help offset the cost of carbon capture. What we’ve created here is a cost-effective carbon capture system.” The ACTL has been designed with the ultimate capacity to capture and safely store up to 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per day, or 14.6 million tonnes per year. That’s equivalent to removing 2.6 million cars from Alberta’s roads. In the project’s first phase, expected to be complete by the end of 2017, the ACTL will transport 5,000 tonnes per day (or 1.7 million tonnes per year) of CO2 captured from an Agrium Inc. fertilizer facility at Redwater and the nearby Sturgeon Refinery, currently being built by the North West Redwater Partnership. CO2 volumes from those two suppliers will allow Enhance to produce 15,000 to 20,000 barrels per day of light crude oil within the project’s first seven to eight years. That would equate to 150 million barrels of oil over the next 30 years. But the company has aims to become


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

The ACTL project has received funding support from both the Alberta Government and the Government of Canada to build the backbone a major oil producer, so they will look

infrastructure for immediate emission

to add more sources of CO2 to the

reductions and future CO2 management.

pipeline network as they become

“I’ve spent 35 years in oil and gas,

available. Jabusch says the hope is that

and have been involved in enhanced

in future, facilities along the route will

oil recovery, in gas processing, in

be designed to capture CO2 that can be

midstream,” Jabusch says. “The ACTL

supplied to the system.

is an opportunity to take what I’ve done

At full capacity, the ACTL would

— and what I know, and what I like to

provide access to reservoirs capable

do in oil and gas — and do it just a bit

of producing an additional one-billion

better. We have the chance to make

barrels of high-quality light crude oil,

a real and significant difference, and

generating provincial royalties in the

there is no better place to do it than in

order of $15 billion.

Alberta.” r

Enhance Energy makes CCS happen. Enhance Energy specializes in using industrial CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery, the most economic form of Carbon Capture and Storage. Contact a member of our team to help you explore the most economic and environmentally responsible solutions for your CO2.

Contact 403.984.0202 or or visit

Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016



s more companies focus attention on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in industrial processes,

there is an increasing need for facilities

Company offers

pilot and test facilities for

low carbon

technologies Pilot testing facility for carbon capture and conversion technologies.

where low carbon technologies can be developed and tested. CMC Research Institutes (CMC) accelerates low carbon technology development by providing field and pilot testing facilities for capture, conversion, and storage equipment. CMC is currently building two research institutes – one targeted at technologies that ensure the secure underground storage of carbon, while the second is for capture and conversion technologies. The Containment and Monitoring Institute (CaMI) is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta and focuses on the safe storage of underground fluids, including CO2. The jewel in the crown of this institute is a unique field research station located two hours southwest of Calgary. When complete in the summer of 2016, a small plume of CO2 will be sequestered at a depth of 300 metres for observation purposes. Infrastructure at the site includes two observation wells for monitoring technologies (such as fibre optic and downhole seismic sensors) and three ground water monitoring wells. For a fee, researchers and technology developers can test and calibrate all ranges of monitoring technologies in order to quantify the detection threshold of CO2 in shallow to intermediate depths.


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

Field Research Station Phase 1 layout.

Technologies developed and refined at the site can also be applied to other sectors, such as the steamdriven, in-situ oil sands industry to ensure underground steam chamber containment, the shale gas industry to monitor hydraulic fracturing (including fugitive methane migration and potential methane contamination of groundwater), and in other applications, such as subsurface disposal of process water and acid gas. The Containment and Monitoring Institute is also able to offer clients rapid, field-based gas and water testing through its mobile

B.C. When operational in 2017, the

conversion systems. Engineers and

geochemistry laboratory. The

Technology Commercialization and

business development experts will be

laboratory’s state-of-the-art equipment

Innovation Centre will house equipment

available onsite to offer advice and

to allow clients to build pilot plants


to test solvent systems, membranes

To learn more about CMC and its

and sorbents for CO2 capture, as well

services, email,

as chemical and electrochemical CO2

or call 403-210-9784. r

will detect and analyze atmospheric, casing and soil gases, including CH4, CO2, H2S, N2 and O2. Other capabilities include groundwater, surface water and produced fluid sampling and analysis, as well as isotope fingerprinting. In Vancouver, B.C. CMC is partnering with the University of British Columbia and BC Research Inc. to develop




the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute. This institute will help clients scale-up and pilot technologies

CMC offers field-testing & pilot facilities for:

that reduce the cost of capture, and

• Monitoring technologies for underground storage of fluids, including CO2

also those that use captured CO2 to

• Solvent systems, membranes & sorbents for CO2 capture technologies

produce valuable, revenue-generating

• Chemical & electrochemical CO2 conversion systems

products. As part of the capture and conversion institute, BC Research is constructing a pilot plant facility in Richmond,

Mobile Geochemistry Laboratory for rapid field-based analysis: • Soil & atmospheric gas collection & analysis (eg. CH4, CO2, H2S, N2, O2) • Groundwater, surface water & produced fluid sampling & analysis • Isotope fingerprinting capabilities | | 403.210.9784 Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


Canadian expertise

Leaders in CCS technology By Melanie Franner


ost-combustion carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for coal-fired generation facilities has been in development for decades. It is now commercially viable – and SaskPower’s

Boundary Dam CCS project represents a fine example of this. But, according to CanmetENERGY, this is but one type of CCS technology and there are many more still in the making. Take-charge attitude As a federal government laboratory in Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY explores ways to lessen the environmental impact of fossil-fuel combustion technologies. The organization has been working on CCS technology as far back as the 1990s. “The technology has certainly come a long way over the years,” says Dean Haslip, director general of CanmetENERGY’s Ottawa laboratory. “Our role is to try to stay on the leading edge. For example, we are no longer working on the research and development of post-

The 15-bar oxy-fire direct contact steam pilot facility. Lessons learned from research using this plant is advancing the high-pressure oxy-fire research under development at CanmetENERGY-Ottawa.


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

combustion CCS technologies. We believe that there are

“We are working with companies now that are

commercially viable post-combustion technologies available

building or planning to build pilot plants of between

right now and that there are companies in Canada and

five and 50MW scale,” he says. “That’s typically the

around the world that have that technology well in hand.”

demonstration stage, with commercial development usually

Haslip anticipates that more post-combustion CCS technologies will become available in the near term, as well as improvements in existing technologies. CanmetENERGY’s current focus, he adds, is on oxy-fuel technologies.

just around the corner.” Forward thinking Another technology that has caught the eye of CanmetENERGY, although still in its infancy, is “chemicallooping” technology. The agency is working on this in

“We believe that oxy-fuel technology will be the next major advancement in CCS,” explains Haslip, who adds that the benefits of it include reducing the amount of energy used and lowering capital costs. “Specifically, we’re looking at high-pressure oxy-fuel technology.”

collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy. “This technology can be looked at as an oxy-fuel technology in the sense that it is not trying to remove CO2 from mixed flue gas,” explains Haslip. “The process, however, does not require a pure oxygen stream. It uses an oxygen carrier, like

According to CanmetENERGY, high-pressure oxy-fuel

the mineral ilmenite, to bring oxygen from the outside world

combustion using oxygen to combust fuels at elevated

to react with the fuel. Chemical looping may prove to be a

pressure represents a class of technologies that will typically

more energy-efficient and lower-cost CCS technology than

result in higher energy output through more efficient

high-pressure oxy-fuel technology. We’re still in the relatively

chemical reactions and fewer processing steps to produce a

early stage at this point.”

pure, concentrated CO2 stream ready for geological storage

CanmetENERGY may be focused on emerging CCS

or utilization. However, active R&D and demonstrations are still required to make these technologies commercially available.

technologies, but it is also broadening its outlook to look at other CCS applications. It is also investigating carbon capture and utilization (CCU) for applications where storage

CanmetENERGY identifies the advantages of high-pressure oxy-fuel technology as including the opportunity to generate competitively priced power using a wide range of fuels, while reducing the negative environmental impacts associated with conventional power generation. Additionally, the cost of electricity associated with CO2 capture for airfired combustion with amine scrubbing or ambient pressure oxy-fuel are more than 60 per cent higher than without capturing CO2. However, it estimates that these costs are only about 25 per cent for high-pressure oxy-fuel systems. Their goal is to drive the incremental costs to zero in the future through further R&D.

is a less-attractive option. “Our emphasis has historically been on CCS for coal-fired plants,” concludes Haslip. “With Canada reducing the number of coal-fired plants, we need to look at opportunities for these technologies in other areas, like power, steam, and heat in the oil and gas industry for example. We also need to increase our application of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) in other parts of the industrial sector. Right now, CCUS technologies have been used primarily on the power-generation side. But we will eventually need to expand that focus to include industry. It may be a few years away yet, but it is coming.” r

Haslip is quick to add that the high-pressure oxy-fuel technology may be available in as little as three to five years.

Dean Haslip, director general of CanmetENERGY’s Ottawa laboratory.

Prairie Climate Centre maps our changing landscape


he reality of climate change is increasingly evident

nature of climate changes that are expected to occur. Users can

in the Prairie provinces and Canada as a whole, and

see how hot their town or farm will be in the coming decades,

climate models clearly indicate that very substantial,

and over the next few years will include interviews with

if not dramatic changes will occur in the coming

stakeholders across the region exploring their perspectives

decades. That is true even if collectively we reduce global

on forthcoming change. Indeed, the changes anticipated for

carbon emissions.

the prairie region – which will be released soon – command

In fact, the prairie region may be particularly susceptible to


the negative impacts of climate change – including droughts,

“Perhaps the most startling information presented on the

floods, heat waves, and other extreme events —and so it is

website is just how hot the prairie summers are expected to

imperative that potential stakeholders be aware of and be

get in the coming decades, especially if global greenhouse gas

prepared for the anticipated changes. Unfortunately, adaptation

emissions are not reduced dramatically,” says Dr. Danny Blair, a

planning and implementation has been limited to date,

University of Winnipeg climatologist and the scientific director

increasing the vulnerability of our economy, infrastructure,

for the Prairie Climate Centre. “Many people expect very cold

social systems and natural

weather to become uncommon, but

environments to the

they don’t realize that we may get

adverse consequences

summers as hot as those in

of a changing climate.

the southern plains of

This situation is largely

the United States.”

the result of a lack

Just as importantly,

of resources and

a team of researchers

expertise available

and networked partners

to citizens, planners,

affiliated with the centre

and policymakers.

are available to offer advice

The Prairie Climate

and policy guidance to

Centre (PCC) has

governments, businesses,

launched a new interactive

and community members.

website to address this gap.

The focus of the centre is to

The University of Winnipeg

collaborate with Manitobans

and the International Institute for

and Canadians who will be

Sustainable Development (IISD) are the founding partners in

affected by climate change so they might position themselves

this joint initiative.

to take advantage of new opportunities, identify and rank

“The Prairie Climate Centre offers cutting-edge research, outreach and planning initiatives that move our region

risks, build capacity, and enhance community, economic and environmental resilience.

from risk to resilience,” says Dr. Ian Mauro, a University of

Earlier this year, Great West Life generously donated $250,000.

Winnipeg researcher and outreach director at the PCC. “Our

The government of Manitoba committed $400,000 to enable

holistic approach, linking climate data with human and

applied research, mobilize knowledge, seek additional partners

ecological systems, is combined with an inclusive and multi-

from across the region, and build the team of experts that will

media communication strategy that is designed to increase

develop informed planning and policy advice to those who

awareness and sustainability.”

need it. The Prairie Climate Centre is hosted by the Richardson

The PCC’s Climate Atlas website provides stakeholders in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta with up-to-date highquality data, maps, videos, and toolkits depicting the 24

Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

College for the Environment at The University of Winnipeg. Visit the Prairie Climate Centre’s Climate Atlas at r

Innovation in

By Tammy Schuster

Canada’s oil sands production


artnerships and collaborations

“Water use is a very big thing for

reconfirmed their commitment to

can make the difference in

us because of how it’s related to

COSIA. In doing that, they have

decreasing the environmental

greenhouse gases,” says Wicklum. “The

reconfirmed their commitment to

impact in Canada’s oil sands.

more water used, the more water has

improving environmental performance

to be recycled, and it becomes more

in oil sands operations.

Cultivating such partnerships is Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), a hub wherein organizations and institutions can collaborate,

energy intensive, so decreasing water use by 36 per cent is very meaningful progress in a short amount of time.”

COSIA also has over 40 third-party and associate organizations that help bridge communication and foster relationships

innovate, and implement technologies

Wicklum says essentially when one

within innovation communities across

in order to reduce energy use and

company working inside of COSIA

the globe. Wicklum says there are more

associated greenhouse gas emissions in

develops a new technology, that

partnerships to be made and one of

the oil sands operations.

company gives the royalty-free

the organization’s goals for 2016 is to

use rights of that technology to the

continue to develop this functional

other COSIA companies to use in

network of innovators.

Based out of Calgary, Alberta, COSIA is an alliance of 13 oil sands companies that accounts for over 90 per cent of the daily production in the Canadian oil sands.

the oil sands. They do so with the understanding that those companies will develop a novel technology and share those patent use rights with

It is an independent organization that

them. “Essentially, a company shares

has committed to developing innovative

one technology, and receives 12 back in

technologies where gaps currently exist

return,” he says.

in four areas: water, land, tailings, and greenhouse gases.

Since COSIA’s conception in 2012, companies have shared

“The end result of this collaboration is

819 technologies that have cost

to emit fewer greenhouse gases, use

approximately $1.3 billion to develop. “If

less water, disturb less land, and speed

they were to license those technologies

reclamation,” says Dr. Dan Wicklum,

to each other, that dollar amount would

chief executive, COSIA.

certainly be much higher.”

Currently, COSIA has approximately 245

While the concept of collaboration

environmental improvement projects

may still need to be fostered and

active with the aim of filling defined

emphasized, Wicklum says at the

innovation gaps. “The projects develop

four-year mark all companies have

Since 2012, companies have made approximately 347 implementation decisions based on the technology they had access to inside of COSIA. “Not only is it the sharing of information and technologies, it’s the implementation of these technologies, which is translating into less environmental impact.” Learn more about Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance at r

Dr. Dan Wicklum, chief executive, COSIA.

knowledge, practices, and technologies needed to accelerate performance improvement,” says Wicklum. Between 2012 and 2014, technologies developed and implemented through the organization have shown oil sands companies decreased fresh water usage by 36 per cent in situ operations. And water withdrawal from the Athabasca River has been reduced by 30 per cent in mining operations. Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


Reimagining C

onvert carbon dioxide into useful products, take home $20 million. This is the challenge put forth by the



organizers of the NRG COSIA Carbon

XPRIZE. California-based XPRIZE has been creating and managing global incentive prize competitions for over 20 years. Prizes catalyze exponential solutions to grand challenges by identifying an audacious target for anyone to try and meet, and then paying the innovators that can solve that challenge. Capitalizing on the power of the crowd and models that reduce risk will help accelerate de-carbonization of the global economy. By harnessing genius of the crowd, we can rapidly identify energy breakthroughs because we exponentially increase both the number of innovators and the diversity of problem-solving approaches.

XPRIZE offers $20 million for breakthroughs in CO2 conversion

Open innovation – crowdsourcing, challenge grants, hackathons, and others – gives innovators everywhere more shots on goal. And all we need is one shot to go in. About the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is a four-and-halfyear global competition open to any team that can demonstrate the conversion of post-combustion CO2 -

By Paul Bunje and Marcius Extavour

from either a coal-fired or natural-gas -fired power plant into valuable products. The winning team will convert the largest quantity of CO2 into one or more products with the highest net value.


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

Teams enter the competition by registering

and investor communities that can scale

before July 15, 2016. In round one, teams

these ideas to ultimately reduce the cost

submit an electronic document package and

of CO2 conversion, mitigation and removal.

are evaluated on their technology concept,

XPRIZE has found that teams who enter

as well as their business and operations plan.

the competition benefit tremendously from

The most promising teams will advance to

the focused support of investors, media,

round two, during which teams will have one

technology communities, and the public

year to demonstrate an operating process that

momentum gained with every XPRIZE.

consumes 200 kg of CO2 per day at a facility of their choosing.

The Carbon XPRIZE will accelerate development of breakthrough technologies

Creating lasting hubs of

that turn CO2 emissions into valuable

carbon innovation

products, proving to the world that innovation

In round three, up to 10 teams will

can enable solutions to climate change.

demonstrate their technologies at

Ultimately, we intend that this competition

approximately two ton/day scale at one of

will stimulate new markets for CO2 mitigation

two new test facilities built specifically for

technologies, attract new investment, and

the competition. Teams will have the choice

inspire other industries, governments, and

to demonstrate either at the Integrated Test

educational institutions to take concrete

Center, co-located with the Dry Fork Station

positive actions to combat climate change. At

coal-fired power station in Wyoming, USA, or

the same time, we hope to help shift public

at a similar facility co-located with a natural

attitudes to be more optimistic about the

gas power station in Western Canada (site to

future of energy and how we tackle climate

be announced).


Both test facilities are expected to have long-

At XPRIZE we believe a new type of energy

term positive impact for the CO2 conversion,

system is possible: one that is sustainable,

removal, and mitigation communities in North

accessible, reliable, and abundant. Even

America and abroad. Set to open during round

with the existing sunk costs of energy

three of the XPRIZE in early 2018, this pair of

infrastructure, it is only a matter of time

facilities will be among a very small number

before more efficient, more dynamic, and

of such facilities anywhere in the world that

more sustainable approaches to energy

are equipped to test, develop, and refine

come to the fore. But climate change doesn’t

CO2 conversion technologies at pilot and

wait for action. To act on climate now, we

demonstration scales. The initial two ton/day

must embrace today’s tools that accelerate

to five ton/day CO2 capacity of these facilities

innovation, de-risk opportunities, and leverage

places them at the sweet-spot for technology

diverse investment.

commercialization, between grams-per-day

Dr. Paul Bunje is principal and senior scientist

early stage projects and megaton-per-year

at XPRIZE Foundation, where he leads energy

industry-ready facilities. This testing and

& environment prizes. Bunje is a global

evaluation infrastructure could prove to be as

thought leader in bringing innovation to

valuable and impactful in the long-term as the

solve environmental grand challenges. This

core technology innovation inspired by the

work includes leading the US $20M NRG

XPRIZE competitors.

COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and XPRIZE’s Ocean



The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE aims not

Dr. Marcius Extavour is the director of

only to support technology game-changers

technical operations for the US $20M

carbon mitigation and CO2 conversion


specifically, but to catalyze the markets

Foundation’s Energy & Environment group. r

Impact The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE aims not only to support technology game-changers carbon mitigation and CO2 conversion specifically, but to catalyze the markets and investor communities that can scale these ideas to ultimately reduce the cost of CO2 conversion, mitigation and removal. XPRIZE has found that teams who enter the competition benefit tremendously from the focused support of investors, media, technology communities, and the public momentum gained with every XPRIZE.


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


Integrated Test Center

construction kicks off in Wyoming Cutting-edge carbon research facility driven by public-private partnership breaks ground


ow-carbon energy innovation took a big step forward

generation of energy technology. In 2014, the Wyoming State

last month with the groundbreaking of the Wyoming

Legislature allocated $15 million in funding for the design,

Integrated Test Center (ITC) – a cutting-edge carbon

construction and operation of an integrated test centre

research facility being constructed alongside a coal-

to study the capture, sequestration, and management of

based power plant in Wyoming. Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, along with representatives of project partners Basin Electric Power Cooperative, TriState Generation and Transmission Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and the NRG COSIA

carbon emissions from a Wyoming coal-based power plant. An additional $5 million commitment from private industry was required under the appropriation, which has since been secured from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, in addition to $1 million pledged from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Basin Electric

Carbon XPRIZE, led the official groundbreaking ceremony

is providing the host site, as well as many additional in-

on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the Dry Fork Power Station,

kind contributions, including engineering and construction

owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and the Wyoming

management services.

Municipal Power Agency.

The ITC will provide space for researchers to test carbon

The ceremony marked an exciting next phase for the ITC,

capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) technologies

a public-private partnership designed to foster the next

using actual coal-based flue gas – making it one of a handful of


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

Groundbreaking at the Integrated Test Center at the Dry Fork Station coal-fired power station in Wyoming. U.S.A.

such facilities around the world and only the second one in the

facility. XPRIZE teams will use the Integrated Test Center as

United States.

their proving site in the final round of competition. The winners

Historically, researchers have found it impossible to replicate

of this $20 million prize will be those that convert the most

the conditions of a working power plant to test these

carbon dioxide into products with the highest net value. Teams

technologies, or to surmount the prohibitive cost of transferring

are also challenged to demonstrate CO2 conversion while

emissions from the plant to the lab. The ITC will provide a vital,

minimizing environmental footprint of their process, specifically

straight-shot solution to this problem.

energy, land, and water use.

CCUS represents the future of smart energy usage where

Pre-construction engineering and design work for the ITC

researchers investigate ways to not only reduce the emission

started in 2015. In March of 2016, when the Dry Fork Station

of carbon dioxide, but to monetize it as a valuable commodity.

went into routine maintenance mode, a large steel damper

The bubbles in your soda, the cement in a new building’s

was installed into the flue system that will help direct gas

foundation – these are all carbon-based products. CCUS allows

to researchers at the test centre. The ITC is scheduled to be

us to ask, What would happen if one of the drivers of climate

completed in the summer of 2017.

change could be converted to a viable product? The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is the first tenant of the

To track progress on the project or to learn more, visit r

Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


CO2 Solutions Inc.


s concluded by Canadian and international delegates at the recent COP-21 climate change conference leading to the Paris Agreement, carbon capture is an essential

component of a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. However, conventional carbon capture processes based on the use of amines suffer from high costs and toxicity, which make them impractical for broad deployment. At a price of more than $60/tonne-CO2, largely owing to the large steam requirement, the cost is far above the current value of carbon taxes, and credits meant incentivize large-scale GHG reductions. Additionally, amine solvents have significant operational and environmental issues, including degradation, toxic aerosol emissions, and the creation of other liquid and solid waste products. CO2 Solutions Inc. (CSI) has developed an innovative approach to solving these challenges with a process that is positioned to unlock the true potential of carbon capture in Canada and abroad. CSI’s technology is essentially an ‘industrial lung’ which is built around the use of the extremely powerful enzyme catalyst, carbonic anhydrase (CA), which efficiently manages carbon dioxide during respiration in humans and all other living organisms. Using bioengineered variants developed by CSI, the CA is employed in a simple aqueous carbonate salt solution (similar to sea water) for CO2 capture in the solution. The physical and chemical properties of the solution allow for the use of low-grade (~80-95°C), nil-value heat from the industrial effluent source plant to subsequently strip the solution and produce pure CO2 for sequestration or reuse. This provides significant operating costs savings vis-à-vis amine processes which require high temperature, valuable steam. At the same time, by virtue of the salt solvent employed, the process is environmentally

benign with no toxic aerosols or waste products, and provides for a simplified equipment architecture. The process is protected by 48 issued patents in key industrialized markets. In the fall of 2015, CSI completed a 2,500+ hour field demonstration of the process near Montreal where CO2 was captured from the flue gases of a natural gas fired boiler. The demonstration validated the key value propositions of the technology, namely low costs through

added products such as biofuels and

reducing climate change-causing CO2

the use of hot water instead of steam for

renewable chemicals, enabled by

emissions, while not damaging a global

solvent regeneration, no waste products,

CSI’s technology. This strong support

economy dependent on fossil fuels.

and the production of high purity (99

is evidence of the robustness of the

In this context, CSI’s breakthrough

per cent+) CO2 suitable for a wide range

technology and its ability to make

technology positions carbon capture,

of uses. Based on the demonstration,

meaningful contributions to emissions

utilization, and sequestration as a

core process costs were projected at

reductions in these provinces and

viable carbon mitigation tool, enabling

$28/tonne-CO2 at a commercial scale


emissions-intensive industries to

of 1,250 tonnes/day, or approximately the size of a typical steam generation operation for oil sands production in Western Canada. This projected cost represents an approximate 50 per cent savings vs. conventional amines, and

successfully compete in an increasingly

With 70 per cent of global energy

carbon-constrained economy.

demand currently met through the burning of carbon-based fuels, and

Further information on CO2

demand predicted to double by 2035,

Solutions can be found at

the world faces a growing challenge: r

is below Alberta’s recently announced $30/tonne carbon levy. With this demonstration of the technology completed, CSI is now moving towards the first commercial

Nature’s Power for Carbon Capture

deployments in Canada and internationally. Supporting this work are grants totalling $17.4 million from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for larger-scale industrial demonstration in Alberta and Quebec. In addition, CSI has received a commitment for a further $15 million over three years from the Government of Quebec (Green Fund) to commercialize methods of converting CO2 into value-

• Low cost, environmentally friendly enzymatic CO2 capture process • Provides high purity (99%+) CO2 for industrial and food and beverage use • Enzyme-accelerated carbonate solvent with no toxic aerosol emissions or waste products • Technology protected by 48 issued patents

905-320-6260 Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016


Turning carbon into a solution

for the cement and concrete industry


By Thomas Schuler, President and CEO, Solidia Technologies, Inc.

olidia Technologies® is a cement and concrete

applications around the world. The production of cement is

technology company that has developed patented

responsible for three to five per cent of total global carbon

processes that produce a sustainable cement and

emissions, making it the world’s second-largest CO2 emitter.

concrete that is cured with carbon dioxide. As the

The industry knows this is a challenge they must address,

cement industry pivots towards the carbon economy, our

and they have set goals to dramatically reduce their carbon

processes offer a cost-effective and competitive solution.

footprint. Our technology addresses an urgent business and

Concrete is the most widely used material in the world after water. Cement is used to bind concrete together, giving it the strength and durability needed for a wide variety of


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

societal need, while profitably supporting an industry seeking to improve production methods that haven’t changed significantly in nearly 200 years.

Changing the industry requires a change with minimum

and more durable; Solidia is the first to become commercially

cost, maximum impact, and added value. Solidia’s patented

viable. An array of partners from the public and private

processes start with sustainable cement, cure concrete with

sectors and academia are helping shift the discovery from

CO2 instead of water, reduce carbon emissions of cement and

theory to application, with assistance in applied research,

concrete combined up to 70 per cent, and recycle 60 to 100

materials testing and characterization, manufacturing

per cent of the water used in production. Produced with a

logistics, general marketing and funding. R&D collaborators

non-hydraulic, lower-energy and lower-emission chemistry,

include LafargeHolcim, CDS Group, DOT’s Federal Highway

Solidia Cement™ is more sustainable than traditional, ordinary

Administration, DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory,

Portland cement (OPC). Solidia Concrete™ cures with CO2

the EPA, Rutgers University – where the original generation

instead of water. When one tonne of Solidia cement is used in

of the technology was invented – Purdue University, Ohio

a concrete product, it permanently captures and stores 250 to

University, and the University of South Florida.

300 kilograms of CO2. About 30 per cent of the cement weight is captured CO2. Driven by our philosophy, “It can’t just be green, it has to be better”, we have overcome the biggest obstacles to disruptive innovation: ease and cost of adoption. Our processes are easy to adopt anywhere in the world using the industry’s existing infrastructure, raw materials, formulations, production methods and specifications, while enhancing product performance and saving time, energy, water, and money. Solidia concrete performs better, is more durable and cost-effective than

many trends driving demand for cement and concrete across the globe. Industry players require regional raw material sources and more efficient technologies to compete. Cement manufacturers and small-scale CO2 emitters will also welcome the technology as a means of mitigating the carbon tax. Targeting the estimated US$1 trillion concrete and US$300 billion cement markets, our initial technology focus was on unreinforced precast applications, including pavers and blocks. Today we are developing commercial processes for reinforced applications, including aerated concrete, railroad ties, architectural panels, and hollow core extrusions. Solidia’s

traditional concretes, and typically

IP portfolio comprises four U.S. patents and more than 100

cures in 24 hours versus the traditional

patent applications worldwide.

28 days. Offering a turn-key solution, we are lining up the needed cement, CO2, and equipment partners. The Cement Sustainability Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development set 2050 CO2 reduction targets for the global cement industry. If the global industry were to adopt Solidia’s technologies today, it would achieve those 2050 goals quickly, and Far left: Solidia ConcreteTM pavers coming off the press. Above right: Solidia ConcreteTM pavers being measured. Top: Solidia ConcreteTM pavers ready for curing.

Rapid urbanization and infrastructure development are two of

save approximately two-trillion litres of water per year.

Honors include Global Cleantech 100, R&D Top 100, CCEMC Grand Challenge First Round finalist, Katerva Award finalist, MIT’s Climate CoLab shortlist, NJBiz Business of the Year and a Best Place to Work in NJ. Our investors include KPCB, Bright Capital, BASF, BP, LafargeHolcim, Total, Bill Joy, and other private investors. The cement and concrete industry is re-inventing itself through new and efficient processes and partnerships with innovative startups to not only reverse its environmental impact, but make improvements to the whole supply chain of building development. Our job isn’t only to develop sustainable technologies; it’s to make it possible for industry to adopt them. Attracting investors for green technology is not easy. Persuading industries to change is even harder. Trying to do both as a start-up can be daunting, but at Solidia, we’re doing it. Our technology effectively commoditizes one of the world’s most noxious pollutants. Alongside our early adopters, we

For over 50 years, scientists have tried

hope to offer a model for how to commercialize a sustainable

to cure concrete with CO2 knowing the

innovation and inspire others to seek solutions within the very

resulting product would be stronger

problems they face. r Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016



CO2 Capture Technology

Reducing emissions while generating revenues


rom Powerpoint presentation to plant; trash to treasure; from harmful emissions to

environmentally responsible chemical production. Skyonic has developed technology solutions for the capture and permanent sequestration of carbon dioxide in mineral form (carbonates). And it has recently made the leap from a new venture technology start-up to a revenue generating, economically viable, carbon capture and chemical manufacturing business. So, what does Skyonic do? Simply put, we capture CO2 emissions, clean the flue gas, and turn it into baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). The full process is paired with existing chlor-alkali technology, which also produces hydrochloric acid, caustic soda and bleach. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, the SkyMine® process removes acid gases such as sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury and particulates. Our unique approach to relatively simple chemistry and science is now showcased in our first fully constructed commercial-scale plant, Capitol SkyMine. Capitol SkyMine is located adjacent to Zachry Corporation’s Capitol


Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016

Aggregates Cement Plant, a coal-fired

received two grants totaling $28M for

newly constructed industrial emitting

cement manufacturing facility in San

carbon capture and beneficial reuse

sources, such as oil and natural gas

Antonio, Texas, USA. A single pipe

through the American Recovery &

refineries, steel mills and power plants,

connects the two plants, which directs

Reinvestment Act (2009-2011) to help

and the production ratio of chlor-alkali

the CO2 from the cement plant to Capitol

us develop this first-of-its-kind chlor-

chemicals can shift to reflect specific

SkyMine. It is designed to directly

carbonate plant. Dr. Julio Friedmann,

supply and demand market conditions.

capture 75,000 tonnes of CO2 per year,

former principal deputy assistant

To meet increasingly stringent sulfur

which is approximately 15 per cent

secretary for fossil energy at the DOE,

reduction standards, it is an ideal

of the cement plant’s exhaust stream,

visited the plant in November and noted

and offset an additional 225,000 tonnes

that “carbon utilization is going to help

per year by displacing chemicals that

America reduce its carbon footprint

would be manufactured in a traditionally

while creating jobs in the market.

carbon-intensive method. The plant was

Skyonic is the emblem for good projects

engineered so that when it is operating

and good companies in the field of

as designed with specific parts of the

carbon utilization.” While the business

chlor-alkali unit being run at a lower

model of the plant is to generate profits

than typical energy rate, the process

and function without any government

will be carbon negative. This is based

subsidies or assistance, the ARRA grant

upon comprehensive lifecycle analyses

helped Skyonic develop and complete

gas production, steel manufacturing,

using International Energy Agency (IEA)

our first commercial-scale project. Over

cleaning agents, swimming pool

calculations to assess the energy penalty

250 direct jobs were created during

chemicals, and municipal water

of the full process. And as of early 2016,

design and construction, and another

systems. We are currently selling all four

we have been granted over 30 patents

200+ permanent positions were added

chemicals meeting the required specs of

issued around the world, verifying our

into the general U.S. economy.

our customers.

Besides providing emission reduction

Skyonic is a privately funded corporation

We are one of the U.S. Department of

solutions, the SkyMine® process is

with headquarters in Austin, Texas. Visit

Energy’s recent success stories. Skyonic

scalable, can be built next to existing or

us online at r

innovative processes.

source of sodium bicarbonate for dry sorbent injection installations. Based on preliminary calculations, one SkyMine® plant can produce enough sodium bicarbonate to scrub SOx emissions for three-times 500MW plants using DSI technology. Our products can be used in multiple markets including animal feed, food and pharmaceuticals, oil and

Index to advertisers Carboniq.........................................................13 CMC Research Institutes..............................21 CO2 Solutions.................................................31 Enhance Energy Inc......................................19 Shell Canada......................................IFC, OBC

Carbon Market review • Inaugural 2016




THE QUEST FOR LESS CO2 One answer to rising CO2 emissions could be an innovative technology called Carbon Capture and Storage. CCS captures CO2 from industrial facilities and stores it deep underground, safely and permanently. The Quest CCS Project will take more than one million tonnes of CO2 a year from the Scotford Upgrader and store it 2 km underground, helping reduce the carbon footprint of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project. And it’s contributing to global CCS knowledge, as we all work towards a lower carbon future. Learn more at:


Carbon Market Review Inaugural 2016  

Carbon Market Review is North America's premier carbon publication. The inaugural issue features stories on the Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan...

Carbon Market Review Inaugural 2016  

Carbon Market Review is North America's premier carbon publication. The inaugural issue features stories on the Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan...