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Home About SAIT News & Events Capturing carbon to make commercial products

Capturing carbon to make commercial products

Left to right: Kent Hehr, Government of Canada Minister, Deron Bilous, Government of Alberta Minister, Dan Wicklum, COSIA CEO, Gianna Manes, Enmax CEO, and Dr. Paul Bunje, Senior Scientist and Principal of XPrize.

A leading-edge Carbon Commercialization Centre is being developed in Calgary, and SAIT will play a key role.

Representing the Government of Canada, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre Kent Hehr visited SAIT Friday, making a joint funding announcement for the centre with Deron Bilous, Alberta's Minister of Economic Development and Trade. They were joined by representatives from a number of other organizations, all collaborators in the development of the centre.

Capturing carbon to create products

Carbon commercialization involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and using it to develop commercial products such as building materials, specialty chemicals, fuel, plastics and more. This process reduces CO2 emissions and their effects on the environment.

The Carbon Commercialization Centre will provide a one-of-a-kind, large-scale facility where organizations can test novel technologies, under actual conditions, for their effectiveness in converting waste CO2 into commercial products.

Dr. Alex Zahavich, Vice-President of Corporate Development and Applied Research at SAIT, is one of the centre's founding team members. SAIT will play an operations advisory role during the engineering, design and construction phase of the project.

"SAIT — through its Applied Research and Innovation Services department — has a successful track record helping companies design, build and test products that are on their way to commercialization," says Dr. Zahavich. "During subsequent phases of the project, SAIT's researchers and facilities will provide some much-needed scientific and technical support to the companies using the centre."

Once complete, the Carbon Commercialization Centre will be located adjacent to the Shepard Energy Centre in Calgary's southeast. Flue gas from the power plant will be captured to use the CO2 for technology testing and product development. The centre is anticipated to be up and running by early 2018.

Fun facts about carbon commercialization

If only two of the technologies tested in the centre are ready for deployment in Alberta by 2020, they will result in a greenhouse gas reduction of 1 million tonnes after just one year of use.

In its first two years, the Carbon Commercialization Centre will be used to test five technologies that are finalists in Richard Branson's XPRIZE competition.