In an effort to compete for a $500 million US grant to commercialize their carbon capture technology, two companies—Climeworks Switzerland’s and California’s Heirloom—have teamed up with the non-profit organization Battelle. This year, the US Department of Energy launched a five-year program to invest $3.5 billion in the building of four regional Direct Air Capture (DAC) centers. Although the technology is still in its infancy, scientists believe direct air carbon capture is essential to curbing global warming. According to the Department of Energy, gigaton-scale or billion-tonne carbon removal will be necessary by the middle of the century. This means that it must be able to store the emissions produced by around 250 million vehicles driven annually. Meanwhile, companies like Pond Technologies (TSXV:POND) (OTCQB:PNDHF), Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE), Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR), FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL), and Denbury Inc (NYSE:DEN) are developing innovative carbon capture initiatives to make the world a cleaner place.
Pond Technologies is developing spirulina and other algae-based animal feed ingredients using CO2 emissions to address global sustainability concerns like protein shortages and climate change, while also providing sustainable animal feed options such as aquaculture.
Pond and Livalta, a division of AB Agri and Associated British Foods, have forged a ground-breaking global collaboration to create commercial algae-based animal feed components from CO2 emissions. Essentially, the approach aims to extract CO2 emissions from the environment in order to produce high-value protein. The initial product will be spirulina. On December 21, 2022, Pond Technologies announced that the algae lab, which featured Pond-designed algae bioreactors, was successfully installed at AB Agri’s British Sugar facility in the UK.
While Pond works on the pilot plant, the company is also developing the science behind the product, which will supplement the existing trial library in animal feed. A recent study conducted by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) used the same strain of spirulina that Pond and Livalta plan to cultivate and the results indicate that a diet with up to 20% spirulina biomass has comparable essential amino acid and essential fatty acid digestibility as a conventional farmed salmon diet.
“We are pleased to see a product produced from the same strain that we intend to mass cultivate included in this study,” said Grant Smith, President & CEO at Pond. “The work we are doing globally aims to provide the aquaculture industry with protein-rich spirulina derived from greenhouse gas emissions, which has the potential to both reduce emissions and make salmon farming more sustainable.”
When compared to other aquatic and terrestrial animals, Atlantic salmon farming is the most efficient at converting feed to protein. However, the sector is reliant on high-value proteins such as fishmeal, which each have their own set of challenges in terms of sustainability, quality, and supply reliability. Spirulina, a microalgae that contains up to 65% high-value protein and is produced utilizing carbon dioxide emissions in a regulated method with good quality requirements, could be a solution to these issues.
Energy Companies Are Working on Carbon Reduction Projects
With its first substantial marine deployment, Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) fuel cells significantly increased the electrical efficiency on a luxury cruise ship built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique (CdA). Bloom and CdA also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together on future multi-MW marine facilities. The 150kW solid oxide fuel cell platform, which utilized liquefied natural gas (LNG), one of the cleanest marine fuels available, provided auxiliary power to MSC Cruises’ MSC World Europa while it was in port. The MSC World Europa anchored in Qatar in November and December in preparation for the 2022 World Cup. When the ship was in port, the Bloom Energy ServerTM achieved 60% electrical efficiency, a substantial gain over earlier high-efficiency power systems. It also reduced carbon emissions by 30% without methane leakage.
In February, Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR) announced that Dow had awarded it a reimbursable contract for front-end engineering and design (FEED) and engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services. Fluor will book the initial FEED award in Q1 2023 and anticipates the additional EPCM scope to be awarded throughout the year, pending a final investment decision by the board of directors at Dow. Dow’s net-zero emissions ethylene cracker and derivatives complex would decarbonize about 20% of its global ethylene capacity while increasing polyethylene supply by about 15% and supporting about $1 billion in EBITDA growth across the value chain by 2030.
In addition to decarbonizing about 20% of Dow’s global ethylene capacity and increasing polyethylene supply by about 15%, the net-zero emissions ethylene cracker and derivatives complex would support about $1 billion in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) growth across the value chain for FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) and Malaysia Maritim Sdn Bhd. These facilities are being constructed to significantly improve production efficiency and reduce costs for green hydrogen. The companies want to provide electrolyzer technology that will allow producing clean hydrogen on a wide scale a practical energy option. In order to build substantial electrolyzer plants in Asia, New Zealand, and Australia, FuelCell Energy will work with MHB.
Denbury Inc (NYSE:DEN) announced in February numerous new agreements pertaining to its carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) business, as well as its 2023 targets, which are intended to strengthen the Company’s CCUS leadership position. The Company recently signed an agreement with HIF Global, a leading eFuels company, to create a 200 million gallon per year carbon-neutral eGasoline and eMethanol facility by 2027, with the ability to decarbonize the emissions of over 400,000 automobiles. Denbury and HIF are aggressively pursuing the acquisition of 2 million metric tonnes per year (Mmtpa) of industrial-sourced CO2 for transportation and usage at the proposed Matagorda County, Texas project. Denbury has signed an arrangement with Monarch Energy Development LLC, a developer of hydrogen and eFuels projects. Monarch is actively developing eFuels manufacturing facilities in Freeport and Beaumont, Texas, with initial production expected in 2026. Denbury will transport 0.4 Mmtpa of industrial-sourced CO2 to be used as a feedstock in the manufacturing process under the terms of the agreement.
Pond Technologies has launched a Biotech division dedicated to the growth of unique microalgae strains for use as a reproductive medium for the development of human antibodies and proteins.
Featured Image IstockPhoto @ Igor Borisenko
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