FortisBC to pilot Calgary company’s small-scale carbon capture and utilization technology

Image: CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technologies

FortisBC Energy has developed a new carbon capture pilot program for businesses that uses first of its kind carbon capture technology to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and save energy.

The technology, produced by Calgary-based CleanO2 Carbon Capture Technologies, reduces the energy usage of commercial boilers that use natural gas and captures and converts CO2 into a usable byproduct.

The result is cost savings for the commercial business as well as a reduction in GHG emissions, the Surrey-based electric power and gas distribution/retail company said. Organizations that have already signed on to a six-month pilot include Cadillac Fairview Richmond Centre and Blue Horizon Hotel.

“By developing this pilot program, businesses have access to new technology which aligns with broad policy goals for carbon reduction," Jason Wolfe, director of energy solutions at FortisBC, said in a statement.

"New technologies are becoming increasingly important in the move to be more efficient in our energy usage, reducing emissions, all while ensuring customers have access to affordable energy choices such as natural gas," he said.

The pilot program was developed to assist in advancing the technologies to commercialization and acceptance in the market. CleanO2, which has received support from Innovate Calgary and Alberta Innovates, has already deployed what it calls the world’s first residential carbon capture device in Alberta and is looking to expand its technology on a global scale.

The company’s carbon capture unit captures carbon from flue gas to turn it into sodium carbonate, also known as soda ash, a versatile mineral used to make pharmaceuticals and manufacture glass as well as soap. According to CleanO2, the unit can create up to 6.7 tonnes of soda ash per year and operate for up to 25 years.

"Technologies like carbon capture are the way of the future in terms of reducing emissions and saving energy," said Jaeson Cardiff, CleanO2 chief executive officer. "Our units decrease energy consumption by up to 10 per cent depending upon the boiler size. In addition, our units remove CO2 from flue gas thereby reducing GHG emissions."