Carbon from Lafarge’s Richmond plant to become hydrocarbons
By Adam FreillConcrete Construction Construction Materials
Carbon from building materials supplier’s cement plant in B.C. to be used to create synthetic hydrocarbons.
Carbon dioxide captured at Lafarge Canada’s cement manufacturing facility in Richmond, B.C., will soon become synthetic hydrocarbons. The repurposing and reuse comes by way of a tri-party agreement the construction materials manufacturer has with Svante Technologies Inc., and Dimensional Energy, Inc.
In 2019, through a joint industry partnership between Svante, Total S.A., and Lafarge, Svante installed Project CO₂MENT; a demonstration carbon capture plant to capture 1 tonne per day (1TPD) of CO2 emissions from Lafarge’s operations at the plant. Lafarge’s main contribution to this project was the in-kind support through the provision of land, operational support, and utilities required for the demonstration.
The project commenced in three phases: pre-treatment, CO2 capture, and utilization. The demonstration has allowed Svante to de-risk its carbon capture technology in a cement industrial environment, focusing the last two years on pre-treatment of the cement flue gas and increasing its efficiency of CO2 capture using its proprietary Metal Organic Framework (MOF) advanced sorbent. Throughout the project, Lafarge has directed efforts to determine a suitable end use for the captured CO2. Given the lack of CO2 transportation and sequestration infrastructure in southern British Columbia today, the company sees the use of captured CO2 as fundamental to the decarbonization of large industries in the region.
This new agreement transitions the project into Phase 3 where the 1TPD CO2 captured by Svante will be converted to roughly 1.5 barrels per day of synthetic hydrocarbons. Dimensional Energy’s technology will convert the captured CO2 using its patented reactor and catalyst technology. This renewable syngas will be further processed into liquid hydrocarbons with Dimensional’s proprietary integration of downstream hydrocarbon synthesis.
The company says these synthetic hydrocarbons can be used in the production of industrial wax products and other high-value products that place previously emitted carbon in an industrial use cycle. Premium grade pure waxes produced from Dimensional’s process are expected to be of interest to other off-take partners, such as manufacturers of plastics, lubricants, cosmetics, among others.
The project will include an ISO verified life cycle analysis (LCA) performed by a third-party to aid in the overarching goal by the three companies involved; which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Carbon capture is an important lever in our net-zero roadmap. However, for a carbon capture project to succeed, it must be paired with permanent geologic sequestration or utilization technology that will permanently isolate the CO2 in a specific media or product,” explained Stephanie Voysey, head of sustainability at Lafarge Canada (West). “If this pilot can be scaled to capture and use all facility emissions, it would be a first of its kind project for Lafarge and advance export and global adoption of this technology.”
“Finding pathways to the viable use of the CO2 we capture from industrial sites is key in developing a circular carbon economy,” added Claude Letourneau, president and CEO of Svante. “We must do everything we can to capture and remove CO2 before it reaches the atmosphere, so we are thrilled to be working with Dimensional Energy and Lafarge Canada on this important project.”
“Together, we will transform carbon emissions from one of the world’s most persistent problems of our time to one of our greatest assets to grow a circular economy in better harmony with nature,” said said Jason Salfi, Dimensional Energy’s CEO. “Leveraging existing infrastructure in difficult to decarbonize sectors of our economy is where we, as technology providers, can have an immediate impact on abating carbon dioxide while providing growth and opportunity for all future generations.”
Lafarge provides sustainable and innovative building solutions, including aggregates, cement, ready mix and precast concrete, asphalt and paving, and road and civil construction. It has more than 6,900 employees and 400 sites across the country.