McGill University, with its commercialization partner Lumenfab, is developing a novel technology that has the potential to create high quality fuels from CO2 emissions and wastewater by using just solar power.
The team, which also includes representatives from the University of Alberta, McMaster University and Hydro Quebec, will build and field test a high efficiency scalable system that converts CO2 emissions and wastewater into fuels, such as methanol. It will be field demonstrated in Alberta near the end of the project.
The approach further reduces GHG emissions by using low-cost silicon wafer solar cells as its energy source, while having the additional environmental benefit of drawing on wastewater from oil sands operations.
In addition, the fuels produced through the process can be used as ‘green’ feedstocks for petrochemical processes.
The initial target market for this technology is the oil sands operations in Alberta — sources of both high-intensity CO2 emissions as well as wastewater.