Skyonic has this week developed a plan to turn chimney gases into industrial chemicals including baking soda.
The US based company started a pilot of the project this week in San-Antonio Texas. The plant will test the companies "carbon mineralisation" process with the aim of starting work on a larger scale production facility later in the year.
Skyonic, which received $3 million in research funding from the department of energy is for the first time treating carbon dioxide as an ingredient rather than a waste product.
At the Texas based project site, flue gases from burning coal will be mixed with water and heated up. This will then be passed through a membrane in order to separate the hydrogen and chlorine gas.
This step has the added benefit of isolating sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda which is combined with the carbon dioxide gas. Finally, the mixture is filtered to produce sodium bicarbonate.
Overall, the project will combine three major processes, which according to CEO Joe Jones is not something that has ever been done before.
It's will be able to use the heat and extract water from the flue gases, while eliminating air pollutants that cause acid rain.
Jones expects that this pilot project will take 75,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and create 143,000 metric tons of baking soda.
If all goes to plan, the company will be able to capture 96 per cent of the carbon dioxide and most of the air pollutants from the cement plant while producing industrial chemicals that it can sell.
"We've been running a demo plant, we know it works. We just need to get a [pilot plant] going and make money," Jones said
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