Home About SAIT News & Events SAIT helps establish a new Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre

SAIT helps establish a new Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre

March 03, 2017


SAIT researchers will bolster a new centre that will test technologies that convert waste CO2 into useful products.

A leading-edge Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology 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 today, making a $20-million 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.

"The Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre will be a top-class facility here in Calgary that brings together the best researchers from industry, governments, academic institutions and around the world to work together on innovative solutions that will benefit Alberta, Canada and the world," says Kent Hehr.

Capturing carbon to create products

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

The Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology 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, says the institution will be an active partner during the engineering, design and construction phase of the project and play a supporting role for companies that use the centre.

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

Once complete, the 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 Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre will be used to test five technologies that are finalists in Richard Branson's XPRIZE competition.
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