The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a major demonstration project for converting carbon dioxide (CO2) into commercial products. The plant will use a first-of-its-kind process to capture 75,000 tons of CO2 from a San Antonio, Texas, cement plant, converting the greenhouse gas into other products, including sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, hydrochloric acid and bleach.
Launched in partnership with Skyonic Corporation, the $40 million SkyMine project has created over 250 jobs during construction, and will host more than 40 new permanent full-time jobs. The project included $28 million in grants awarded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The SkyMine technology was designed to retrofit existing coal-burning facilities, but also has potential applications for heavy industry, including cement, glass, steel and natural gas power. The byproducts produced through this process will offset other products with higher carbon footprints, and can be safely stored indefinitely.
The technology builds upon several years of modeling, testing, and analysis performed by Skyonic supported by the DOE. The process will also remove most of the sulfur oxides, nitric oxides, mercury, and other heavy metals from the flue gas.
“[This] announcement demonstrates the range and potential for carbon capture technologies,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Through this partnership, the Department has shown its commitment to finding innovative uses for carbon that can have a positive impact on the economy while also reducing carbon emissions.”