South Surrey, British Columbia-based Mantra Energy Alternatives has reached an agreement with Lafarge Canada to deploy an electrochemical reduction technology at its No. 9 Road cement plant in Richmond, B.C., as part of a pilot project. The technology will convert carbon dioxide emissions into useful chemicals, such as formic acid and formate salts.
“This will be the first pilot plant of its kind in the world,” said Mantra’s Vice President Patrick Dodd in a press release. If the system works as advertised it could be deployed at all of Lafarge’s facilities.
The pilot plant will convert 100 kg/day of carbon dioxide emitted from the cement plant into concentrated formate salts. Mantra plans to use the formic acid for use in its patented fuel cells, which it bills as a significantly less expensive fuel cell with greater power density.
Colin Oloman and Hui Li of the Clean Energy Research Centre developed the technology at the University of British Columbia. Mantra Venture Group then purchased it in 2008.