Once carbon dioxide emissions are removed from power and industrial plants, where should they go? Some people think they should be stuffed underground, others think they can turn them into plastic, and now a startup called Skyonic wants to turn the greenhouse gases into baking soda. CO2-based deodorant, here we come.
Skyonic recently received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for its SkyMine process, which removes SOX, NO2, mercury, and other heavy metals from industrial plant exhaust streams and converts the remaining CO2 into baking soda. According to the company, using solid storage for CO2 means that all the concerns about carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology– pipeline transport, injection, CO2
re-release into the atmosphere–disappear.
If Skyonic’s SkyMine technology proves feasible for large scale applications, the company hopes to get another grant from the DOE to build a test facility at Capitol Aggregates, a cement plant in San Antonio, Texas. Even then, Skyonic will face competition from CO2-to-solids startups including Novomer, Calera, and Carbon Sciences. If CCS doesn’t pan out, we’ll need all the help we can get from these companies.