Profiting from CO2 – A New Start Up Lays Out Its Plans to Mineralize Carbon

May 4, 2014 -We are becoming more adept technologically in recycling. We do it with aluminum, steel, plastic and paper. So why not carbon? If we are to continue to rely on burning fossil fuels then capturing carbon and transforming it appears to be the best approach we in the 21st century can take to address the challenge of rising atmospheric CO2. It certainly beats burying it in geologically stable rock formations or pumping it in liquid form into deep ocean repositories and the seabed. In either of these two cases the captured and sequestered CO2 remains a long-term liability with the potential to leak back into the atmosphere over time.

Carbon in CO2 doesn’t have to be the liability it appears to be today. We can through mineral carbonation turn it into useful products with many industrial applications. That’s why a start up company called Skyonic has developed SkyMine, an electrolytic carbon capture process, that can turn captured CO2 into salable products by mineralizing the CO2 from flue gases and waste streams in industrial plants. Its The irst commercial scale installation (seen in the image below) is being built today adjoining a cement plant in San Antonio, Texas. It should be in operation sometime this year.


Capital Cement Plant with Skyonic SkyMine technology under construction


The SkyMine process, which replaces scrubbers found on some of today’s coal-fired power plants, turns the CO2 into solid carbonates and bicarbonates which represent permanently sequestered carbon useful for landfill or in waste remediation and biofuel plants to stimulate algae growth.

SkyMine technology turns the management of carbon pollution from expense to profit. It is configurable to remove varying amounts of CO2 from 10 to 99%, making it fit many different production and power plant configurations.

SkyMine is the first of a number of Skyonic patented technologies aimed at turning carbon capture into a profitable business. A second technology, SkyCycle (TM) uses thermolytic mineralization technology to capture CO2 and turn it into calcium carbonate, limestone and hydrochloric acid. A third technology, SkyScraper (TM) is an advanced scrubber designed to remove sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide, mercury and other heavy metals from the waste flue gases.


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...


  • Chuck

    Here’s another example of crony capitalism where politically
    well-connected people feed at the public trough (the US DOE) and get
    something between taxpayer-backed loan guarantees (or at worst, outright
    grant money that never has to be repaid) and then build a project that
    consumes electric energy over half of which is generated by, you guessed
    it, a CARBON-BASED fuel! To add insult to injury, there are plenty of
    much larger chlor-alkali plants that already produce sodium hydroxide
    (and almost-certainly with a lower-cost basis than Skyonic due to their
    economies of scale), which could have been shipped to the cement kiln by
    rail to reduce CO2 emissions eliminated the needs for a front-end
    chloralkali plant.

    Finally, the Skyonic plant uses conventional
    bipolar chlor-alkali electrolytic cells to produce H2, Cl2 and NaOH;
    this cell technology was supplied by Ineos, a company that is neither a
    world leader in either cell technology (in my opinion) or market share
    (and that’s a fact not an opinion). In contrast, the oxygen depleted
    cathode technology pioneered and now commercialized by Bayer Material
    Science, Thyssen Krupp Uhde and Industrie De Nora S.p.A.reduces electric
    energy consumption by up to 30% (fact, not opinion) and would have had a
    much lower carbon footprint than the Skyonic project regardless that no
    hydrochloric acid would have been produced.

    • lenrosen4

      Thank you for pointing out some issues about Skyonic that are not readily known. Could you provide sources for your assertions? And do you have examples of other carbon capture technology that is sustainable and meets the criteria set for low carbon technology solutions? I am no expert on CCS but I have uncovered a number of projects of which Skyonic appears to be unique, turning CO2 output into carbonates and bicarbonates for resale.

      • Chuck

        Except where I’ve clearly stated that I’ve rendered an opinion, everything else is based on fact. For example, Skyonic hired a firm that offers both legal and lobbying services to secure its US DOE funding and here’s the press release on that firm’s website (see where the company actually boasts about its government connections:

        Van Ness Feldman client, Skyonic Corporation, will open an industrial chemical plant next week that will capture the carbon dioxide emitted from a coal-fired cement plant and use it to produce chemicals like sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid by reacting it with rock salt, in lieu of traditional methods of mining. Members of Van Ness Feldman’s government relations and federal funding teams undertook major outreach efforts on behalf of Sykonic to help secure a $28 million grant from the Department of Energy to build the plant and helped with negotiating the cooperative agreement for the project. According to Skyonic President and CEO, Joe Jones, “[the plant is] the largest carbon-capture plant in the world that isn’t on the pump-it-in-the-ground cycle.”

        Additionally, if you use enter the terms “oxygen depolarized cathode Denora Thyssen Lrupp” into a search engine like Google you will find more information on this technology which represents the most significant advancement in chloralkali production technology in the last ten years. Bayer Material Science has been running a 20kt/year (as Cl2) ODC plant for a few years and recently booked an order for an 80kt/year plant from the Befar Group in China.

        The technology has been proven and the literature readily shows that a savings one volt obtained with ODC technology versus the usual cell voltage of around 3.2 volts for a conventional chloralkali cell.

        • cko

          Charles, if you want to laugh more check this URL,

          Decades ago few companies in US and Europe used chlor alkali cells to manufacture soda ash and bicarbonates by direct CO2 injection but the process was abandoned due to strong competition from Trona and Solvay. It more about wheeling and dealing than science….

          • Charles Heimerdinger


            Good information! Another great example of the tail wagging the dog!