On October 21, The Skyonic Corporation hit the ON switch at a cement plant in San Antonio, Texas. Within a year, it expects to capture about 75,000 tons of CO2 from the plant and turn it into industrial liquids and solids to sell at a profit.
Skyonic’s process, called SkyMine, is unique. Unlike other carbon-capture techniques, which preserve CO2 as a gas or compress it into a liquid, SkyMine technology turns it into a mineralized form that can be used to make sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and other products that have commercial value. The new plant can also make hydrochloric acid and sodium hypochlorite (otherwise known as bleach).
Acting Assistant Secretary of Energy Christopher Smith says the US Department of Energy, which invested $28 million in the Skyonic venture, has a stake in supporting companies that are finding innovative ways to capture harmful CO2 emissions.
“Over the last few years, we’ve committed over $6 billion to put in place real-world projects that are capturing CO2 that otherwise would be going into the atmosphere, and putting it to beneficial use,” Smith says. “That helps offset the cost of capturing the CO2 in the first place. So we see that as sort of a win-win.”
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