With Canada having ambitious goals for reducing its emissions – 30 per cent by 2030, the need for carbon capture utilization has come to the forefront. One Calgary company is seeing its technology in high demand as the country recognizes the importance of reducing emissions.
Operating since 2004, Delta CleanTech has commercial and cost-effective CO2 carbon capture technologies which have been meticulously engineered and crafted to help reduce capital and operating costs and has been involved in major CO2 capture projects globally. Its modular technology can improve the quality of captured CO2, which can then be used for ethanol production, building materials, and enhanced oil recovery.
Its proprietary carbon capture technology has the unique ability to operate on both coal and natural gas flue without the need to rebuild the system once a plant makes that switch from coal to natural gas, meaning carbon capture can begin immediately. To glean more about Delta CleanTech’s technology and how they are helping the oil and gas sector with carbon capture utilization, BOE Report spoke with Lionel Kambietz, Executive Chairman, Delta CleanTech.
BOE Report: Please describe your company’s story/history. Where are you in your growth trajectory?
LK: We’re the oldest established pedigreed technology provider in the industry in North America. The global financial crisis in 2008 and movement towards CO2 capture was quite big in that era, and that’s where we cut our teeth and brought our technology into the world, and we got good at designing and constructing our technologies into CO2 capture. We like to say that every smokestack is our customer. We look at a smokestack like it’s a customer and smokestack needs help, capturing carbon dioxide from it.
BOE Report: Please describe the technology and innovation behind your carbon capture technology – LCDesign®, DeltaSolvTM and PDOengine® – what are their respective qualities and differences, and how have they evolved?
LK: We have a portfolio of about six technologies that have been responsible for driving down the cost of capital onto your existing refinery or power plant right. That cost has gone down by 40% as a result of these technologies, and our cost of capturing is going down by 30%. Primarily LCDesign® is really a modular approach to building, is built in factory, delivered, dropped, and snapped together like a jigsaw puzzle, and ultimately, we get them running a lot quicker, and it has lowered our field labour cost and brought our cap cost down quite a bit. DeltaSolvTM is specifically designed formula for our customers and their projects. They take solvent and go to their solvent supplier and they fix this special solvent cocktail, which helps capture the CO2. These emerging technologies have lowered the costs substantially. PDOengine®, process design engine is a series of algorithms that we’ve developed that allow us to build and design a project for customers and be within 5% accuracy on his performance and capital costs.
BOE Report: What kind of research goes into your technology?
LK: We put in a tremendous amount of research, which is really about lowering the energy penalty that it takes to capture CO2. We started out with our core technology that’s been in existence for over 30 years, called AB processing, and is used to clean up CO2 out of natural gas. Then we adapted this well-known technology to capturing CO2 from exhaust streams. It was a matter of adopting existing technology and one by one, implementing better solvents, better wash section, and through trial and error, came forward with an advanced product offering.
BOE Report: What differentiates you from others in your market?
LK: We’re an independent technology provider. We’re robust scalable. We can do 1,000, 2,000 tonnes per day of CO2 capture, whatever is required. There is a vast network for us to operate in. In the first 10 years of our existence, we have participated in more than 50 per cent of all the carbon capture initiatives in the world.
BOE Report: Where is your technology dispersed
LK: We are located across North America, and we also have a retail sales office out of London. China is also really engaged – we’re quoting a cement factory in China – and we’re excited by the amount of engagement from them and wanting to see these projects to succeed.
BOE Report: How are you supporting a cleaner transition from coal to natural gas?
LK: It’s where the world is headed. We’ve been asked to develop a CO2 capture for coal-fired power plants and they have to be adaptable. Our design does allow us to put in some of that flexibility and the rework to natural gas from coal is going to be less than 7% of the total capital cost would only be required to re-modify this capture from co2, or from natural gas versus from coal.
BOE Report: What kind of opportunities do you see within carbon capture?
LK: We used to call it CCS, carbon capture storage, and now all that matters is CCU, carbon capture utilization. With the emerging technologies out there, they’re going to use the CO2 molecule that we capture, but now instead of storing and taking that cost underground, we’re actually going to use the molecule to produce something. That to me is the key. It’s like bringing science projects to life.
BOE Report: How can carbon capture help Alberta and Canada’s economies?
LK: One of the newer Delta carbon capture projects is at the Shepard Energy Centre, which produces 40 per cent of Calgary’s power. I think this is going to be so profound for Calgary and Alberta to be the centre of where the technology solutions align for the energy industry. Calgary has incredible intellectual capital to deploy. To me, it’s the most advanced technology group in the world for emerging energy technologies.
BOE Report: What does the future for Delta Clean Tech look like?
LK: We have a front-row seat on every carbon capture project that’s going on in Canada. We get to look at those and decide which projects we want to be a part of. We’re going to enter the project development business with our customers. We’re going to go in with our customers and build and operate CO2 capture plants together. Our goal is to continue being a technology provider moving forward and provide our solutions to people. We want to be much larger in the ownership and operating of some of these projects and be there for recurring revenue.