Canadian Companies Developing CO2 Capture with Algae Photo Bioreactor System
10 July 2007
|Menova’s Power-Spar system.|
Two Canadian companies, Trident Exploration Corp. and Menova Energy Inc., have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a company that will be part of a consortium developing a new photo-bioreactor system for the capture and recycling of greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated by the processing of petroleum products into algae biomass.
The new company will use existing sunlight capture technologies developed by Menova for its solar Power-Spar products along with Trident’s waste stream gas capture initiatives. The partners believe that the new system will permit an increase in the cumulative GHG emissions that can be captured and recycled year round within Canada by such a CO2-to-algae system.
After one year of research and discussion on innovations to reduce our CO2 emissions, we were pleased to find a Canadian partner who has the demonstrated technology to help us pursue both an economically and environmentally innovative alternative to sequestration.—Murray Rodgers, President and CEO of Trident
On 21 March, the Province of Alberta announced its intention to research the commercialization of algae cultivation and its effect on the reduction of CO2 emissions. The proposed project will be one of the first pilot projects in Canada to explore the commercial feasibility of this mandate.
The pilot project for the photo-bioreactor will begin shortly, with commercialization expected to occur within three years.
Academic studies and pilot projects in the United States and Europe have demonstrated that CO2 can be used for the cultivation of algae biomass which can be economically converted into biofuels and other high value co-products. Based on these studies, Trident and Menova expect their light capture technologies to reduce the net carbon impact of petroleum processing by an estimated 50% or greater, while at the same time, creating biomass for alternative fuel production.
The consortium will include academics, scientists and business leaders with the intent to establish an Advisory Committee by 2008. Recent additions to the consortium include: Dr. Abimbola Abiola, Olds College School of Innovation-Biofuel and Technology Centre; Dr. James Craigie, National Research Council of Canada-Marine Bio-Science Institute and Dr. Martin Reaney from the University of Saskatchewan.
Trident is a natural gas exploration and development company, principally focused on coal-bed methane from resource plays in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Menova’s Power-Spar system consists of a parabolic trough reflector which concentrates the sun’s energy onto a modular absorber. The absorber converts the sun’s energy to electricity (via photovoltaic cells); or to heat (via a patented absorption surface); or transports the light to buildings’ interiors (via optical cabling).
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