CCCI director presents to ministers at leadership forum

Goran Vlajnic, Executive Director, CCCI, speaks at CSLF Ministerial Meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Goran Vlajnic, Executive Director of the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI), represented CMC Research Institutes at the 7th Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) that was held in Abu Dhabi, December 3-7, 2017.

He was a part of the Canadian delegation which was led by Frank Des Rosiers, Assistant Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada. Goran participated at the Technical Group meeting and was also a part of a panel session which focused on CCUS Infrastructure Development. Together with Mr. Des Rosiers, Goran gave a presentation on Leveraging Innovative Approaches to Advance Carbon Capture and Conversion Technologies at the Ministerial meeting.

The Ministerial meeting was co-chaired by Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy, United States, and His Excellency Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, United Arab Emirates. From the communiqué of the 7­th Ministerial Meeting:  According to the International Energy Agency, the use of fossil fuels is projected to continue well into the future, underscoring the critical need for CCUS in the power sector.

Moreover, CCUS is a key option for deep CO2 emission reduction from process industries such as refineries, the chemical sector, and cement and steel production. Therefore, CCUS technology will be an important contributor to the global clean energy transition.

CCCI celebrates federal & provincial investments

The Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute celebrated a $950,000 investment during official opening ceremonies on Sept. 14, 2017. It was also recognized that in January 2017, the Province of British Columbia contributed $100,000 from its Innovative Clean Energy Fund to support the purchase of equipment for the facility.

Over 50 people attended the event at BC Research’s new Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre where the CCCI is headquartered. The celebration also marked the official opening of the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

Making the investment announcement was Joe Peschisolido, MP for Steveston-Richmond East, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources. Also speaking at the event was George Cook, President of NORAM Engineering and Constructors – parent company for BC Research, and Goran Vlajnic, Executive Director of the CCCI. MC was Sandra Odendahl, CMCRI’s new President and CEO.

The investments in state-of-the-art equipment will help the CCCI develop and scale up capture and conversion technologies as developers move them closer to market.

To read the complete news release click here.

Below are photos of the event.

Sandra Odendahl, CMC Research Institutes President and CEO, was MC for the opening ceremonies.

George Cook, NORAM Engineering and Constructors President, addresses the crowd.

Visitors celebrate the official opening with applause.

Over 50 people attended the opening ceremonies held at the new BC Research Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

Andrew Ellis, chemical engineer with BC Research, talks to guest speakers standing in front of the flue gas conditioning tower purchased with a portion of the NRCan investment.

(From left) NORAM President George Cook, CMCRI President & CEO Sandra Odendahl, CCCI Executive Director Goran Vlajnic, and Steveston-Richmond East MP Joe Peschisolido.


Sergio Berretta, Vice President at BC Research, leads guests on a tour of the new Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

Guests network following official ceremonies.

A tour of the wet chemical laboratory in the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

Attendees at the reception that followed opening ceremonies and tours of the new Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre – home to BC Research and the CCCI.

Boiler that was part of the equipment purchased the Natural Resources Canada investment.

Wet chemistry lab at BC Research’s new Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

Analytical room in BC Research’s Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre.

CCCI celebrates $950,000 federal investment in equipment

(l-r) Goran Vlajnic, Director of the CCCI, shows Sandra Odendahl, CMCRI President, George Cook, Noram President, and Joe Peschisolido, MP for Richmond-Steveston East, some of the equipment purchased with $950k Government of Canada investment.

Richmond, B.C. – A new facility to test carbon capture and conversion technologies is operational thanks in part to investments by the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia.

The new BC Research (BCRI) Technology Commercialization and Innovation Centre is home to the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI) and BCRI who together offer a unique blend of experts, pilot plant, and laboratory space for the development of technologies to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

This venture will help grow Canada’s clean tech sector, strengthen the country’s position as an innovator in global markets, and create new green-economy jobs at home.

A $950,000 Government of Canada investment in state-of-the-art equipment for the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute will help the CCCI to develop and scale up capture and conversion technologies as developers move them closer to market.

In January 2017 the Province of British Columbia contributed $100,000 from its Innovative Clean Energy Fund to support the purchase of equipment for the facility.

Guests at official opening of the CCCI and technology development centre tour the facility.

While there are technologies available for capturing carbon in industrial processes, they are cost prohibitive in part because of large energy requirements. Government, industry and academic researchers are working to develop energy-efficient, cost-effective processes for industrial use. For example, the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute is collaborating with two international organizations which are integrating unique technologies to develop a novel capture system that, if successful, will be less expensive to construct and operate than current processes.

A growing focus in the clean tech development world is conversion – which aims to transform carbon into a variety of commercially valuable products. At the new Technology Commercialization and Development Centre, for instance, researchers are converting biomass material, such as sawdust, into a fuel that could be used as a substitute for diesel. This clean technology will have a positive impact in reducing Canada’s overall carbon emissions and optimizing the use of Canada’s natural resources.


“These strategic investments from Natural Resources Canada and the Province have allowed the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute to purchase state-of-the-art process equipment and analytical instruments necessary for clean technology development. We are now able to compete on the world stage and are attracting industry, academic and government developers from across Canada and abroad.”

Goran Vlajnic, Executive Director, Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute

“We are thrilled that the federal government and the Province of B.C. have invested in equipment at this new facility. The strategic focus of the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute, which is owned and operated by CMC Research Institutes, is on reducing emissions in large-scale industries. This contribution will allow us to accelerate that mission here in Richmond, B.C. while helping grow the Canadian clean tech industry at the same time.”

Sandra Odendahl, President and CEO, CMC Research Institutes

“BC Research has always believed in the value to Canada of being at the forefront of greenhouse gas mitigation and sustainable development. We became a partner to CMCRI in promoting and supporting this concept from its inception and we remain committed to its future success.”

Hassan Hamza, President, BC Research

“By re-imagining carbon, we can create new industries, good jobs and a cleaner energy future. That’s why our government is supporting innovative research across the country. This includes a $950,000 investment in state-of-the-art equipment and research that could help turn carbon emissions into useful, everyday products.”

Joe Peschisolido, Member of Parliament for Steveston–Richmond East

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

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

– 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

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.

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.

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

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

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
T: 403 210-7879

Eric Desatnik / Jackie Wei /


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

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:

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: