CCCI moves into new headquarters

The new Technology Innovation and Commercialization Centre is home to the CCCI.

The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute has moved into its permanent headquarters on Mitchell Island in Richmond, B.C.

The building, operated by CCCI partner BC Research, provides space, equipment and experts to help with technology development, testing and scale up. It’s located within 25 minutes of the Vancouver International Airport and downtown Vancouver.

Building Details
Interior: 35,000 sq. ft, 30 ft. ceilings
Exterior: 3,000 sq. ft., fenced and serviced with utilities

Services
Pilot plant space
– Wet laboratories
– Analytical room
– Chemical storage room
– Machine shop
– Skid and pilot plant assembly shop
– Offices
– Meeting rooms

Utilities
– Flue gas from natural gas boiler, up to 1 tonne/day of CO2 (Flue gas can be conditioned with NO2, NOx, etc.
– Steam, compressed air, cooling, chilled and potable water, natural gas, electric power

For more information on the technology development centre contact:
Goran Vlajnic, Executive Director
Carbon Capture and Containment Institute
t: 604 696-6945
c: 604 312-2372
e: goran.vlajnic@cmcghg.com

CREATE program in carbon capture

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada established the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program to produce highly qualified personnel in an area of high strategic value to Canada. The CREATE Training Program in Carbon Capture brings together researchers from science, engineering, political science and business from across Canada studying inter-related aspects of carbon capture. The Program connects to provincial and federal research agencies. It also connects to key international partners to craft a unique training environment spanning borders, disciplines and societal sectors to generate personnel of high value in a field of global strategic importance.

International collaboration aims to reduce carbon capture costs

SINTEF researchers with the INSPIRE project.

VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA — A CDN$3 million international collaboration to optimize a novel carbon capture system could reduce the cost of capturing carbon from industrial processes.

Although industry and power generation account for 46 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, companies are reluctant to install carbon capture technologies because of high operating costs. U.S. based Westec Environmental Solutions (WES) and SINTEF Norway, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia, are hoping to change that reluctance by marrying two technologies to realize savings in operating and capital costs.

This CDN$3M INSPIRE project, lead by SINTEF and funded by CLIMIT – Norway’s national carbon capture and storage research funding program, will see a unique contactor container developed by WES used with a new novel precipitating solvent developed by SINTEF. The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI) will be responsible for engineering design work to scale up the process if initial tests are promising. CCCI is a business division of CMC Research Institutes.

“The aim of this very exciting project is to demonstrate, for the first time, a system that streamlines the capture process and eliminates several stages. This will make the overall operation significantly less capital and energy intensive,” says Goran Vlajnic, executive director of the CCCI. “If successful, the new process could play a significant role in reducing industrial emissions.”

“Precipitating solvents have shown great potential for reducing capture costs but process integration can be complex,” says Bill Hargrove, CEO of WES. “Our goal is that by combining the unique features of the WES contactor and SINTEF solvent we can demonstrate a viable, cost efficient solution to CO2 capture.”

Ugochukwu Edwin Aronu, SINTEF Scientist and Project Leader, notes that the project marks a milestone in terms of the development of capture technology.

”I believe this project offers a clear route to cost reducing innovations, thanks to its uniquely international and multidisciplinary approach,” says Ugochukwu Edwin Aronu, SINTEF Scientist and Project Leader. ”For the first time, an advanced precipitating CO2 capture technology will be demonstrated in a full height state-of-the art pilot plant facility, integrating two unique solvent and contactor technologies. Successful demonstration will take this technology a step closer to commercialization.”

Contactors, the vessels in which CO2 is captured by a solvent, are typically large and expensive to build and operate. WES’s innovative design is compact and can tolerate solids formed by precipitates without clogging.

The WES contactor also uses the new precipitating solvent designed and developed by SINTEF. The SINTEF product is more efficient than most solvents currently in use. It reacts with and absorbs CO2 more rapidly than other solvents, the regeneration process takes place at a lower temperature, uses less energy, and can have a lower environmental footprint.

The contactor and solvent will be brought together for testing and validation in Trondheim, Norway next year. If the results are positive, CCCI experts will engineer and design a system to scale up the process. In the third stage of development, CCCI will design a modular unit that can be tested at the Institute’s technology development centre or in an industrial setting.

About SINTEF Norway
SINTEF is the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia. It is an independent, not-for-profit research institute. We create value and innovation through knowledge generation and development of technological solutions that are brought into practical use. SINTEF is a broadly based, multidisciplinary research institute with international top-level expertise in technology, medicine and the social sciences. We conduct contract R&D as partner for the private and public sectors, and we are among the four largest contract research institutions in Europe. SINTEF’s goal is to be a world-leading research institute. We create value and develop solutions to some of society’s grand challenges by being at the forefront of our strategic focus areas: renewable energy, climate and environmental technology, oil and gas, ocean space technology, health and welfare, and enabling technologies. sintef.no

About Westec Environmental Solutions (WES)
Westec Environmental Solutions, LLC was formed in 2008 with the mission to develop a gas to liquid contactor that would enable new solutions posed by the challenges of capturing CO2 emissions on a large scale. The development of the WES Contactor has been conducted at the WES laboratory in Kahului, HI. The unique properties of the WES contactor provide for high mass transfer efficiency and the ability to operate in a three phase flow condition which enables new solutions to solvent based capture processes to reduce operating and capital costs. The first demonstration of this technology was a pilot line on a Brown Coal power plant in SE Australia in 2013. wes-worldwide.com

About the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI)
The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute is an initiative between CMC Research Institutes, BC Research Inc. and the University of British Columbia’s Clean Energy Research Centre. This unique group of participants bring depth and diversity to the CCCI, creating a high energy innovation hub. The CCCCI’s mission is to accelerate the development, piloting, scale-up, and validation of carbon capture and conversion technologies. We offer clients access to engineering and design experts as well as a comprehensive set of facilities for pilot plant design, fabrication, testing and refinement. The CCCI is a business division of CMC Research Institutes.

International delegation takes CCUS tour of Western Canada

International delegates tour new BC Research technology development centre.

An international delegation with experts from Norway, Germany and Ireland toured carbon capture, storage and conversion sites in Western Canada in February.

Delegates on the tour, led by Canadian Ambassador to Norway Artur Wilczynsk, had the option of visiting several sites in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Regina to learn more about CCUS initiatives.

In Vancouver, NORAM’s new BC Research Inc. facility was the venue for a ground-breaking meeting – hosted by the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI) – between a European delegation and representatives of the Government of Canada, academia and local industry. Delegates toured the new BC Research facility, in which the CCCI is co-located, and received presentations from Gassnova, CCCI and local technology companies active in CO2 capture and product valorization. These included the University of B.C., Inventys, Carbon Engineering, Mantra Energy, CarbonCure and BC Research.

Goran Vlajnic addresses visitors on Western Canada CCUS tour.

The meeting, which included the Norwegian state enterprise for carbon capture & storage, Gassnova, and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum & Energy, set the stage for multi-lateral exchange and cooperation in the nascent, but fast-growing CO2-utilization economy. The CCCI innovation hub is a collaborative initiative between BC Research, CMC Research Institutes and UBC, aimed at solving the complex challenges of reducing industry’s carbon footprint.

In Calgary, CMC Research Institutes organized a round table featuring a number of speakers including Brian Mellor, Managing Director of CMCRI, and Kirk Osadetz, Programs Development Manager for the Containment and Monitoring Institute, Marcius Extavour, Director of Technical Operations, NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, and others. Visitors also had the option of touring a demonstration site for a technology developed by CleanO2, and Burnco Rock Products which has installed technology by CarbonCure.

CMC Research Institutes – President Search

CMC Research Institutes, Inc. (CMCRI) is leading the transformation of Canada’s industrial economy to thrive in a low carbon world. CMCRI is an independent, not-for-profit entity that designs, creates, and operates research clusters which catalyze and deliver technology innovation in support of a single mission: the elimination of industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

CMCRI is uniquely structured to achieve its mission in its ability to mobilize and leverage Canada’s academic brain trust through its brick and mortar institutes: the Containment & Monitoring Institute (CaMI), the Carbon Capture & Conversion Institute (CCCI).   Each institute has deep subject matter capacity to find solutions to carbon management challenges through research, development, and field testing of applied solutions, and facilitates the translation of ideas into industrial-scale technologies and science-based opinions that allow for evidence-based policy making.

There is a finite window of opportunity for CMCRI to align itself with the climate change mitigation agendas of federal and provincial governments and to become a key contributor in meeting Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement. As President of CMCRI you will join a committed global effort to mitigate climate change.

You will work with your international Board of Directors, with your team, with governments, with industry, and with academics from across Canada and around the world to develop technologies that reduce and eliminate industrial GHG emissions while continuing to foster Canada’s economic prosperity. As President, your goals will include: aligning CMCRI’s mission with government agendas and priorities; securing ongoing funding from government, industry, and philanthropic sources; rallying an army of academics to generate innovative technologies that tackle global climate change threats; and engaging national and international partners in solidifying CMCRI as the global “go-to” organization for solving industry’s green house gas challenges through technology innovation.

Likely coming from a corporate background, you are a credible, adaptive influencer who has the ability to see and connect opportunities across government, academia, and industry to solve GHG technology challenges. You are action-oriented, pragmatic, and able to evaluate opportunities and take measured risks while staying within a defined mandate. You have a track record of generating funding/revenue, partnerships, and profile, and are sufficiently well-connected to gain access to senior bureaucrats and industry executives. You are a person who inspires confidence in others and who engenders hope and possibility in an uncertain world.

Seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combat climate change and help Canada transition to a low carbon future. To explore this opportunity further in confidence, please send your curriculum vitae to admin@cmcghg.com.

CMC Research Institute, Inc. hires on the basis of merit. We are committed to the principle of equity in employment. We welcome diversity and encourage applications from all qualified women and men, including persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Indigenous persons.

For more details see Position Profile

Course takes multi-disciplinary look at climate change

Source: Julia Wong, The Ubyssey. 

Also known as “Leading the Way Towards a Low-Carbon Future,” this one-time-only graduate course takes an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the effects of climate change and how to work towards lowering carbon emissions. Students will be encouraged to bring knowledge from their area of study into class discussions, and reflect on their personal and communal role in reducing carbon emissions

“Our ability to solve this problem is going to draw on science — it’s going to need new technology, it’s going to need people who understand psychology, social motivation and politics. It is a subject area where UBC has a lot of strength,” said Dr. Kathryn Harrison, a political science professor and co-organizer of the course.

The course will feature a number of UBC professors from the faculties of chemical and biological engineering, political science, geography, business, land and food systems, and environment and sustainability. The topic of climate change is one that influences many areas of study. The organizers of the course have worked to include a multitude of voices and approaches to the problem of climate change, sometimes of differing or opposing viewpoints.

In addition to the UBC faculty, a number of high-profile guest speakers with experience in the environmental sector have been invited to lead classes during the semester. Some of these guest speakers include James Hoggan, president of corporate communications and public affairs agency Hoggan and Associates; Mark Jacobsen, a Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering; Jacqueline Cramer, the minister of housing, spatial planning and the environment in Amsterdam; and Crystal Lyman, a member of the Cree nation and climate justice advocate on the consultation and resistance of the Indigenous people of Canada in resource development.

A number of guest speakers will be delivering public lectures on the topic of climate change that will be open to the public.

“It’s about complementing [their] knowledge with awareness about their perspectives and their understanding on where people of other disciplines are coming from, but also their skill set in being able to communicate with non-academic populations,” said Harrison.

There is an emphasis on building skills of public communication and discourse over the semester, as students will be asked to collaborate and engage with the experts and with the community.

“There are all of these different challenges going on at once, and … it’s important and extremely valuable for [future professionals, academics, students and researchers] to at least be exposed to all of these different disciplinary perspectives and practical experience of folks who have been working on this issue for a long time,” said Harrison.

Priority will be given to graduate students who apply to the course, but seats may be offered to senior undergraduates. Applications are due December 12.

More information on the course (and an extensive list of guest speakers) can be found at lowcarbonfuture.ubc.ca.

CMC & NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE sign partnership agreement

Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre

Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre

VANCOUVER — The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and CMC Research Institutes today announced a partnership that will support teams competing in a $20M global competition to develop cutting-edge technologies that convert carbon dioxide emissions into high-value products.

Under the terms of the partnership, teams have the option of using facilities and experts at CMC Research Institute’s (CMC) technology commercialization centre as they develop and test their innovations. The centre, in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, is operated by CMC’s Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI) and aims to accelerate the development and scale-up to commercial use of technologies that capture and convert carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources. The Institute provides state-of-the-art facilities and access to a global network of industry and academic researchers as well as partners who can provide engineering and fabrication support. Playing a key role in the CCCI is industry partner BC Research Inc.

“We are really excited to support of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE process. CCCI, NRG, COSIA and XPRIZE are tackling one of the most critical challenges of our time – that of moving our planet to a low carbon future. The technologies being developed will play a role in making that future a reality,” said Richard Adamson, President of CMC Research Institutes.

The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute team will work with semi-finalists participating in Round 2 to design, build and test their technology at pilot scale (about 100 kg/day), using either real or simulated flue gas. Teams who move to Round 3, the Finals, will demonstrate their technologies at a commercial scale at one of the two Carbon XPRIZE test sites of the competition finals: the coal-fired Integrated Test Center in Gillette, Wyoming; or the natural-gas-fired Carbon Commercialization Centre in Southern Alberta. Teams will be scored on how much CO2 they convert and the net value of their products.

Goran Vlajnic, Executive Director of the Vancouver-based Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute, said the new partnership will contribute to the thriving clean tech sector in B.C.’s Lower Mainland and will strengthen Canada’s position as a global leader in the development of low carbon technologies. “We collaborate with government and academic researchers at both the provincial and federal levels and also draw on a global pool of experts. Carbon XPRIZE competitors will benefit by being able to use this diverse network of researchers who are at the forefront of low carbon technology development,” said Vlajnic.

The Carbon XPRIZE aims to incentivize the development of technologies to convert CO2, a key contributor to climate change, from power plants and industrial facilities into commercially valuable products. The semi-finalists are from six countries and represent innovative carbon capture and utilization technology companies, top-tier academic institutions, non-profits and new start-ups. The range of products being proposed by entrants is remarkable, from carbon nanotubes to methanol to toothpaste, paint, fish food and fertilizers.

Media Contacts:
CMC Research Institutes
Ruth Klinkhammer, Senior Manager Communications
E: Ruth.Klinkhammer@cmcghg.com
T: 403 210-7879

NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE
Eric Desatnik / Jackie Wei
eric@xprize.org / Jackie.wei@xprize.org
310-741-4880

About XPRIZE

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit http://www.xprize.org/.

About CMC Research Institutes

CMC Research Institutes (CMC) designs, creates and operates clusters which catalyze and deliver multi-sector innovation to eliminate industrial greenhouse gas emissions, a critical part of Canada’s climate change solution. CMC and its business units, the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute and the Containment and Monitoring Institute, offer a comprehensive range of programs and services to help de-risk investment decisions and accelerate technology development. For information: cmcghg.com

About the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute

The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute, an operating unit of CMC Research Institutes, is developing a unique model to accelerate innovation and commercialization in clean technologies and continuous industrial processes that significantly reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions. The new innovation model is based on a systems engineering approach that will drive synergy, improve process efficiency and reduce cost of novel carbon capture and conversion technologies. The Institute is headquartered at the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre in Richmond, B.C. For more: ccci.cmcghg.com

Premier Clark announces climate plan at CCCI facility

B.C. Premier Christy Clark speaks with UBC's Dr. Hassan Sharifi about carbon capture research he is working on with Dr. Peter Englezos.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark speaks with UBC’s Dr. Hassan Sharifi about carbon capture research he is working on with Dr. Peter Englezos.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced the province’s Climate Action Plan at the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre on August 19. While at the site, which will headquarter the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute when complete, CMC’s President Richard Adamson toured Premier Clark through a number of displays that had been set up by researchers from the University of British Columbia and also by companies working on capture and conversion technologies.

At the site with displays were UBC researchers working with Drs. Naoko Ellis, Peter Englezos and David Wilkinson as well as representatives from FP Innovations, Mantra Energy Alternatives, Inventys and CarbonCure.

The Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre is under construction and slated for completion in early 2017. When complete, a portion of the 40,000 sq. ft. facility will house laboratory, pilot plant and office space for the CCCI.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark (right at podium) speaks to guests and members of the media at the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark (right at podium) speaks to guests and members of the media at the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

 

Institute featured in article

Dr. Naoko Ellis was recently interviewed about the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute and the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre. The article appeared on the jwnenergy.com site. To read the piece click here.

Executive Director selected to lead institute

Goran Vlajnic

Goran Vlajnic, Executive Director, Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute

CMC Research Institutes is pleased to announce that Goran Vlajnic has been selected as the new Executive Director of its Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI), effective July 1.

Formerly with Devon Canada, Vlajnic is an energetic and visionary leader with a proven track record in technology development and the transfer of technology from the concept stage through to scale up in an industrial environment.

“We are really excited to have Goran on board as the CCCI’s first executive director,” says Richard Adamson, President of CMC Research Institutes (CMC). “He has proven success accelerating the development of capture technologies, from identifying industry needs, to developing collaborative partnerships, to securing necessary funds. Goran has the diverse skill set this position requires and also a commitment to developing technologies that will support sustainable economic growth and help position B.C and Canada as low carbon suppliers of natural resources and industrial clean tech solutions.”

Capture and conversion technologies

Vlajnic will lead development of the new institute which is headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. The CCCI is a unique partnership between CMC and BC Research Inc. focused on advancing the development and implementation of industrial-scale carbon capture and carbon conversion technologies. State-of-the-art piloting facilities are currently under construction at the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre where clients will be able to draw on the expertise of scientists, engineers and business development experts.

“I look forward to joining the CMC team and supporting the growth of the Capture and Conversion Institute. The benefits of developing industrial-scale capture and conversion technologies are multiple. These technologies will make a real difference in reducing carbon emissions at the industrial level, which is a critical step in meeting Canada’s emissions targets. But products and processes developed at the Institute will also stimulate economic development in Canada by providing economic diversification, job creation and technologies for export,” said Vlajnic.

Engineering background

Prior to joining the CCCI, Vlajnic was a Development Engineer with Devon Canada. While there he worked to scale up and demonstrate a molten carbonate fuel cell for carbon capture. He was instrumental in securing investments in a number of key projects including a 1000 tpd carbon capture plant, and a carbon capture and bitumen partial upgrading facility. He negotiated agreements to help establish the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Chair in CO2 capture technologies at the University of Calgary, and was a member of the technical team responsible for the design of a commercialization centre for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize.

Vlajnic was Senior Research Engineer at the Saskatchewan Research Council where he focused on technology development for conversion of biomass to liquids, chemicals and combined heat and power generation. At Ballard Power Systems, where he was Principal Scientist and Team Leader, his work included the development and commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells and industrial water and wastewater treatment. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Engineering.

Contact Information
E: goran.vlajnic@cmcghg.com
T: 604 696-6945
C: 604 312-2372
W: ccci.cmcghg.com