December 18, 2013 – Carbon capture and sequestration or CCS has challenged those attempting to make economic sense of its many different technologies. So far most CCS projects have proven to be very expensive and have been heavily subsidized by governments.
A Canadian company, Inventys Thermal Technologies Inc., is bucking the trend in developing a technology that is less expensive to implement and shows considerable promise. So much promise in fact that the former U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Obama has decided to join the company’s board of directors.
Dr. Chu is currently the Director of Physics at Stanford University. In the press release issued by Inventys, located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Dr. Chu is quoted as saying, “Carbon capture is a critical technology to move us to a clean energy future and Inventys has developed a practical, compact, and low cost system that allows existing fossil fuel power plants to dramatically lower their carbon emissions.”
Inventys’ proprietary system is called Veloxo Therm(TM). It uses less energy to capture carbon, costs 80% less than competing technologies, and has a much smaller form factor when deployed in power plants.
The technology is attached to the flue stack where it uses a rotating structure to trap CO2 from gas emissions going up the chimney. Steam is then applied to release the CO2 so that it can be pumped underground. Veloxo Therm runs at relatively low temperatures and pressures and has little impact on the operating efficiencies of power plants where it is installed.
The technology is being deployed at a Nova Chemicals plant operating in Joffre, Alberta. The captured CO2 will be used for enhanced oil recovery extending the life of production wells. This seems to be where CCS can play for the moment.