The new Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC) located at the Shepard Energy Centre, has officially opened its doors today, allowing companies to test their carbon conversion technologies in an operational industrial facility.
The $20m centre will be a testing ground for leading edge technologies to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) gases into something valuable, such as consumer goods, building materials or even pharmaceutical medicine.
Officials say it’s one of only a few centres in the world where carbon conversion technologies can be tested at this scale. The first companies to use the ACCTC will be the five finalists for the Carbon XPrize, a contest to convert CO2 emissions from the energy industry into usable products.
Deron Bilous, Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade said in an interview, “All of these companies have already proven their technology work. Now they are proving that it works at a commercial application scale.”
“This facility is critical if we once again want to be world leaders when it comes to developing innovative technologies,” he added.
One of the companies is Calgary-based Carbon Upcycling Technologies, which produces nanoparticles from carbon emissions for use in concrete, plastics, adhesives and batteries, among other products.
Bilous explained that carbon upcycling is taking what used to be a by-product or waste product and turning it into something useful.
The federal and provincial governments shared the cost of the new centre, which will be owned by a subsidiary of Alberta Innovates.