Startup Skyonic — which develops technology that turns carbon emissions from power plants and factories into substances like baking soda — plans to start construction on the largest commercial carbon capture plant in the U.S. next week. The plant will be built at a cement factory in San Antonio, Texas, and will capture carbon emissions, acid gases and heavy metals from the flue of the cement factory.
Skyonic’s technology is based around turning factory and plant emissions into usable products, like baking soda, hydrochloric acid and bleach. So the plant in Texas is expecting to pay off the investment — and turn a profit — by selling the products to buyers. The plant expects to convert 75,000 tons of CO2 into products, and offset another 225,000 tons per year.
The startup is announcing the start of construction during an event next week at the plant, where a local judge and Skyonics CEO will speak. Skyonic raised $128 million earlier this year from big name players in the oil and gas industries and investors in the company include Canadian oil giant Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips, BP Ventures, Energy Technology Ventures, BlueCap Partners, Toyo-Thai Corporation Public Company Limited, Berg & Berg Enterprises, Northwater Capital Management, PVS Chemicals, and Zachry Corporation.
Skyonics technology is an example of something that could get a significant boost from the Obama administration’s announcement last week that it will move forward on limiting green house gas emissions from power plants. The administration has set a limit for new power plants, and is looking for more input on its goals for existing power plants.
All eyes will be on whether or not this plant is successfully built on time and on budget and if the plant really is profitable on selling its bi-products after three years. There’s been a lot of hype, a lot of money misspent, and a lot of goals not met when it comes to carbon capture technologies. Remember FutureGen?