News & Updates

December 17, 2020

Carbon Engineering Innovation Centre Update

Carbon Engineering Innovation Centre Update

Carbon Engineering is pleased to share our first update on the construction progress of our new Innovation Centre. In June of this year, Carbon Engineering broke ground on the centre, marking a major achievement for our company. The Innovation Centre will be Carbon Engineering’s permanent operations and advanced development headquarters. The Innovation Centre site is located in the Newport Beach Oceanfront Development, south of downtown Squamish and nearby to Carbon Engineering’s pilot facility. The centre will include a 1,250m2 building to be used as an operations and laboratory space, and a new, fully integrated Direct Air Capture and AIR TO FUELSTM plant.

“We have made great progress this year in the construction of the Innovation Centre,” said Carbon Engineering CEO Steve Oldham. “It’s a testament to the hard work and careful management of our entire team, partners and vendors, that we’ve remained on time with our construction schedule while continuing to ensure everyone’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once complete in fall 2021, the centre will be a world-class Direct Air Capture research and development facility where our team will continue to innovate and improve our solutions now and into the future.”

The first six months of construction have been extremely busy at the Innovation Centre site, and it has been exciting for our team to watch our future headquarters come to life. Read below for details on what has been completed with regards to the key parts of our DAC process, and information on what is next in this important development for Carbon Engineering.

Earthworks and concrete

Throughout the course of the summer, the Innovation Centre site was busy with concrete and earthworks activity, laying the foundation for the new headquarters. As 2020 draws to a close, all of the concrete foundations will have been poured and backfilled, and ready to accept the equipment they were designed for.

Air Contactor

The air contactor is a key component of Carbon Engineering’s Direct Air Capture process. A giant fan pulls air into the air contactor, where it passes over thin plastic surfaces that have potassium hydroxide solution flowing over them. This solution chemically binds with the CO2 molecules, removing them from the air and trapping them in the liquid solution as a carbonate salt.

The air contactor is currently being assembled on the Innovation Centre site, and the majority of the work will be completed before the winter holidays. The first two weeks of 2021 will see the installation of the air contactor’s fan, motor and cowling.

Carbon Engineering's Innovation Centre


Pellet Reactor

The pellet reactor is another key component of Carbon Engineering’s Direct Air Capture process. Once the carbonate solution is produced in the air contactor step, the CO2 contained in this solution is put through a series of chemical processes. In one of these, salt is separated out from the solution into small pellets inside the pellet reactor.

The 14-tonne pellet reactor was built offsite and delivered on October 23. Throughout the course of a rainy, misty morning, the pellet reactor was expertly craned into place. The next step in construction for this piece of equipment will be the installation of access platforms and ancillary equipment this winter.

What’s Next

The first quarter of 2021 will be a bustling period at the Innovation Centre site! All of the mechanical equipment will be arriving for installation, except for the calciner (that is where the pellets are heated at a high temperature to release their CO2 in pure gas form). Other activities will include piping and conveyer installation to link all of the equipment together, electrical wiring of the plant, installation of approximately 200 instruments and controls, and drywall, electrical and plumbing of the administrative building.

We’re looking forward to keeping you updated on our Innovation Centre progress! If you have not done so already, make sure to join our supporter list to receive our quarterly newsletter.

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