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Skyonic awards $117M construction contract to Toyo-Thai-USA for commercial-scale carbon capture and utilization plant

Skyonic Corporation, developer of the SkyMine mineralization process which can serve as a potential replacement for existing scrubber technology (earlier post), recently awarded the $117M construction contract for the Capitol SkyMine plant in San Antonio, Texas, to Toyo-Thai-USA Corporation (TTUS).

The SkyMine plant, which will be retrofit to the Capitol Aggregates Cement plant, is expected to directly capture 83,000 tons of CO2from the cement plant’s emissions. By using this captured CO2 to make products that would otherwise generate additional CO2, the plant will offset an additional 220,000 tons annually, once fully operational in 2014.

Toyo-Thai Corporation Public Company Limited (TTCL) is providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to the project. Toyo-Thai has also invested $1 million in Skyonic to support the project.

Skyonic’s electrolytic carbon capture technology, SkyMine, selectively captures CO2, acid gases and heavy metals from flue gas. The captured pollutants are mineralized into solid products, including sodium bicarbonate, which are stored, transported and sold as safe, stable solids.

Process byproducts include hydrochloric acid and bleach, which can also be sold into the market. By producing valuable products using low-cost chemical inputs and operating at energy-efficient conditions, SkyMine captures CO2 at a substantially lower cost than other carbon capture technologies, allowing industrial emitters to turn a profit from reduced emissions, the company says.

Skyonic, which received a $25-million award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 2010, in June secured $128 million at the close of its Series C round. The $128 million will be used to support the construction of the plant. The funds will also help support the advancement of Skyonic’s global IP portfolio of profitable carbon chemistry solutions and other R&D and operations expenses.



If I undstand well, this is what they do:
NaCl + H2O + electricity -> NaOH + HCl
And then NaOH + CO2 -> NaHCO3

At low production volumes they can sell the HCl, but when fully deployed, that's a lot of acid to consume !
They can also produce Cl2, which is widely use for instance in PVC, but not at such enormous amounts.
Even then, the HCl will eventually end up in the sea somehow. This will result in a release of the CO2 that was captured in the first place ! Also the PVC will be returned to HCl (in waste incinerators CaCO3 is used to turn 2HCl in CaCl2, releasing CO2)
NO NET CARBON SEQUESTRATION, except of the HCl is used to turn rocks (Ca or Mg oxides) into salts+ H2, then the acid is neutralised without CO2 release.
This would work very well.
Even more, if they simply pour the NaOH in the ocean, and inject the HCl in appropriate rocks, the carbon is sequestered, because the dynamic equilibrium of CO2 between the athmosphere and ocean will 'pull' the CO2 out of the air. This may be a very scalable form of athmospheric, and even historic, carbon sequestration, if it is implemented correctly (= not allowing that the HCl returns to the biosphere)

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