Clearing the air
Clean technology and processes like carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), which takes the carbon dioxide (CO2) created during oil and gas development and stores it safely, preventing emissions from entering the atmosphere, is an example of how industry is working toward better ways of operating.
CCUS technology has progressed in recent years, but it requires more testing at a larger scale and lower cost.
Svante, a company out of Vancouver, B.C., is using new adsorption-based technology that uses solid material to remove CO2 from the gas phase to reduce industrial emissions at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods of capturing CO2.
Suncor announced that it is making an equity investment in Svante. With support from Suncor and other companies, Svante can continue developing its technology to capture CO2 from heavy-emitting industries like cement, steel, and oil and gas production at a lower cost than current methods.
Svante’s pilot plant in Saskatchewan has already prevented significant emissions from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent to removing 2,000 cars from the road each year.
“Carbon capture’s cost is a key challenge and our investment with Svante will help accelerate commercial-scale deployment,” says Martha Hall Findlay, chief sustainability officer. “Along with energy efficiency, switching to low-carbon fuels, and other new technologies like solvents, we see carbon capture, with the required collaboration between governments and the private sector, as an important way to significantly reduce emissions from our facilities and processes.”
Keeping it clean
CO2 capture isn’t a new method of moving the lower-carbon needle for Suncor.
We were a founding partner of the global Carbon Capture Project, and in more recent years, our teams have led Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) projects to evaluate several technologies for CO2 capture from hydrogen plants at upgraders and refineries. Suncor is also a supporting partner in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, which encourages innovators to develop new ways of capturing CO2 for making everyday products, including plastics, concrete, batteries and even vodka.
Overall, last year Suncor invested more than $530 million in technology and innovation, with close to half of that going directly toward emissions-reduction technology.