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Carbon capture technology shows potential for commercial application

Svante’s carbon capture
Svante’s carbon capture demonstration plant at our Pikes Peak South thermal project.

August 2021 – We’re capturing upwards of 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year at our Pikes Peak South thermal project near Lloydminster, SK to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In 2015, we partnered with Svante, a Vancouver-based clean-tech startup company, to test its CO2 capture technology. The bench-scale trial was successful, demonstrating the technology could work in field conditions, and in 2019 a 10,000 tonne per year system was commissioned as the second phase of the project. The amount of CO2 the system captures in a year is equivalent to the emissions from about 2,000 passenger vehicles.

“It has been such a journey,” says Curtis Cymbaluk, Manager of Cenovus’s Surface & GHG Reduction Technology team. “When we first partnered with Svante, they had a small model the size of a five-gallon pail. Our collaboration has resulted in the construction of a successful demonstration unit that could possibly play a big role in our future emissions reductions.”

Svante’s technology takes flue gas from boiler exhaust stacks and exports it to a carbon capture system. Specially engineered filters grab onto the CO2, isolating it from other gases so it can be safely produced in a concentrated form for controlled use.

“In its concentrated state, the captured CO2 can be used in various forms while reducing the negative impact on climate,” says Karo Afiegbe, CO2 Capture Development Engineer at Cenovus. “This technology has potential for commercial application and we’re currently working with Svante on several feasibility studies to incorporate their technology into our existing facilities, which could help us further reduce GHG emissions.”

Our Innovation team continues to develop and collaborate on novel technologies to find innovative solutions, develop sustainability initiatives and help manage and reduce GHG emissions across our company.