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Svante partners on cement carbon capture, DAC materials development

Company to help decarbonize B.C. cement plant, develop direct air capture material

Lafarge Canada's Richmond, B.C. cement plant hosts a carbon capture and utilization system contributed in part by Svante. (Courtesy Business Wire)

Svante has announced two new partnerships as the firm continues its efforts to create a carbon-capture ecosystem.

The first is with Lafarge Canada and Dimensional Energy on a cement carbon-capture trial in Richmond, B.C. The second is an agreement with 3M to develop direct-air-capture (DAC) material.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Svante is a major player in Canada’s carbon-capture industry. It raised over US$318 million in a 2022 Series E fundraise and partnered with GE Gas Power in March 2023 to develop solid sorbents capable of decarbonizing natural gas-fired power plants.

In the tri-party agreement, Svante will help demonstrate Ithaca, N.Y.-based Dimensional’s carbon dioxide utilization technology in Lafarge’s cement manufacturing facility in Richmond, which is to convert captured carbon into synthetic hydrocarbons.

With 3M, Svante will collaborate on developing and manufacturing DAC adsorbent technology.

Svante’s chief revenue officer and acting CFO Matthew Stevenson told SustainableBiz the partnership and agreement further its goal to aid others in the carbon-capture space as part of the global decarbonization challenge.

“We have to do this as an ecosystem and a set of value chains. We’re trying to accelerate that (with) these kinds of partnerships and bringing people together and ensuring that we’re working in collaboration, focusing on what we do best, but recognizing there are other firms in the world who have a lot of expertise and can bring that to bear.”

Partnering with Lafarge, Dimensional

Svante’s partnership with Lafarge and Dimensional continues a joint industry partnership between Svante, Total S.A. and Lafarge.

In 2019, Svante installed a demonstration carbon-capture plant named Project CO₂MENT to capture one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions per day from Lafarge’s operations at the Richmond facility.

Lafarge is seeking to decarbonize its operations as a large provider of building materials, including cement and concrete.

Svante is the technology provider with its 'Metal Organic Framework' solid sorbent that can absorb up to 95 per cent of the carbon dioxide from industrial flue gases. It is focused on increasing the efficiency of carbon capture, pre-treatment of the cement flue gas and building a full value chain on site.

Dimensional is developing an “attractive pathway to utilize CO2 from these sources and convert them into end-value products and move towards that circular economy concept,” Stevenson said.

Dimensional’s technology consists of reactors that break down carbon dioxide to form carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide is mixed with hydrogen to create synthesis gas (syngas).

The syngas is further processed into a liquid that can be used to create industrial wax products for industries such as plastics, lubricants and cosmetics. It can also be used to produce sustainable aviation fuel.

One tonne of flue gases will be transformed into approximately 1.5 barrels of synthetic hydrocarbons per day.

“If you can stop CO2 from going into the atmosphere, or if you can at least ensure that CO2 that goes into the atmosphere wouldn’t have otherwise ended up there, you are having an important benefit to climate change,” Stevenson said.

Products based on petrochemicals can be replaced by alternatives derived from captured carbon dioxide from industrial emissions, or even ultimately the air, he added.

Stephanie Voysey, the head of sustainability and environment at Lafarge Western Canada, says in a release, "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.”

Stevenson said Svante is working with Lafarge Holcim to identify applications for its carbon capture in its U.S. cement plants.

As per the partnership, Lafarge made a monetary commitment to Dimensional Energy to support the project and has been granted funding from the Innovation Accelerator for the CleanBC Industry Fund.

The 3M joint development agreement

Svante also forged a joint agreement with 3M to develop and produce DAC products.

3M funded Svante in its US$318 million funding round through 3M Ventures, its venture capital arm.

Stevenson said the partnership is a key example of Svante’s general strategy. Carbon capture and removal, he said, requires building a new value chain and an ecosystem that can boost not just Svante, but also its competitors.

Svante is looking for newer markets such as DAC, which Stevenson said the 3M partnership can further by supporting innovation and bringing capacity for that market.

“We’re particularly focused on building up the partnerships and ecosystem around our core technology, which is solid state technology,” he said. 3M is a global leader in solid state technology, he continued, bolstered by its experience, expertise and capacity.

In a release, Ray Eby, president of 3M’s Personal Safety Division, says, “. . . we are eager to take on the challenge of scaling the production and supply of carbon removal materials over the next decade and beyond to meet global demand. Our deep expertise in filtration technology, extensive global R&D community and our unwavering commitment to create world-changing solutions give us the confidence to scale these carbon-absorbing solutions with the necessary speed to combat climate change.”

Editor's note: Corrected the relationship between Svante and GE Gas Power. SustainableBiz regrets the error.

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