“Carbon dioxide can be captured, and it can be done in many ways,” said Brett Henkel, vice president of Burnaby-based technology firm Inventys. Indeed, industrial processes to extract carbon from gas streams have been around for 50 or 60 years. “It’s just that we developed a more effective way to do it. The system we have created has a smaller footprint and it’s more energy-efficient. It doesn’t use liquid solvents, so the environmental impact of dealing with these chemicals is simply not there. Our system is simply a better way to capture carbon.”
His company has patented the process as VeloxoTherm. The project aims to demonstrate the technology at Husky’s Lashburn site.
Like other systems, Inventys uses an adsorbent, the material that grabs onto the gases. But, Henkel notes, “We changed the structure of the adsorbent and made it particularly useful for flue gases.” The process uses a capital- and energy-efficient rotary adsorption technology. If you could look under the steel skin of the Inventys system, according to Henkel, “you would see a large wheel made of adsorbent that turns about one revolution per minute. On one side of the wheel, the spokes collect carbon dioxide; on the other side, those spokes come into contact with counter-current steam, which releases the CO2.”
He estimates that the commercial system will capture 90% of the CO2 present.