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 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
T: 604 696-6945
C: 604 312-2372

CCCI featured in international journal

The new Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute (CCCI) is featured in the March/April edition of the Carbon Capture Journal. Richard Adamson, CMC President; Dr. Naoko Ellis, Senior Research Director of the CCCI; and Dr. Hassan Hamza, President of BC Research Inc., talk about the institute and how it will help advance the development of capture and conversion technologies. Click here to read the article.

Piecing the Puzzle Together

Author: Naoko Ellis, Senior Research Director, Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute

I’m here to tell you what we do at the Carbon Capture and Conversion Institute, or CCCI. The Institute’s mission is to help reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, as part of Canada’s response to climate change. Our most exciting project right now is the newly built Technology Commercialization & Innovation Centre, on Mitchell Island in Richmond, British Columbia.

I was riding my bike to work the other day, mulling over how to best express what we do, and the image that came to mind was a jigsaw puzzle. That may be because jigsaw puzzles are one of my favourite hobbies. And I don’t know about you, but for me, having the box in front of you so you can see the whole picture is cheating. I like examining every piece, looking to see how its shape, nuanced colours and shades all fit together to reveal a part of the image that makes up the whole. I kind of enjoy the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what the finished product is supposed to look like.

And that’s what we do at CCCI. We’re an unbiased third party, and we look at each piece of technology and each innovative idea that comes through the Institute as puzzle pieces. We carefully examine them: what are they built to do? What do they require in order to work in a system? We test each one thoroughly to clearly see what kind of shape, colour, and shade each piece may have, and how they may fit into the larger puzzle.

We know the big picture we are striving for: a low carbon future through reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions! But we don’t know exactly what that will look like, or which pieces are necessary in which places to build the whole image faster.

Our job is to reduce the uncertainties associated with a piece of new technology by making what those pieces are crystal clear. That information help industries make easier decisions, and avoid costly detours on the road to the big picture.

CCCI has another job: we connect pieces. Because we see so many technologies for carbon capture and conversion, we also see possible synergies between technologies, which may lead to solutions. For example, we are working with a company in Norway. They are working on novel carbon-capture systems which require intimate contact between gas and liquids. We also work with another company, in the US, who create innovative ways to for gases and liquids to meet. We were able to connect those two pieces and create a new partnership in industry, because we examine each piece of the puzzle very carefully.

Solving a puzzle requires patience, persistence, and curiosity – and so does meeting the challenge of climate change and how it affects our society. CCCI is in a unique position to be able to examine and connect pieces of that puzzle.

We are committed to reaching a low carbon future faster, and we need your help to support our work. In my next blog, I’ll tell you a little more about our brand new Technology Commercialization & Innovation Centre.


Naoko EllisAbout the author

Naoko Ellis is Senior Research Director for the CCCI and a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Her expertise lies in the area of multiphase reaction engineering with emphasis on fluidized beds. Some current projects include: biomass gasification and pyrolysis; CO2 capture, including chemical looping combustion; pyrolysis product utilization including bio-oil and biochar applications; and biofuels. She feels passionate about educating and training the next generation of engineers through teaching, and serving as the Associate Head for Graduate Programs in the department.

Carbon capture and conversion: Opportunities, challenges and potential

What are the challenges, opportunities, and research pathways for carbon capture and conversion? Join us for a free public dialogue with CMC Research Institutes. We’ll discuss those questions and learn about the new Carbon Capture & Conversion Institute, which is situated in Vancouver.