When creative minds have access to the right facilities, amazing things can happen. Located in southeast Calgary, the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre (ACCTC), is currently home to five of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE finalists who are developing cutting-edge technology in the built-for-purpose facility to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into usable products. Suncor is one of the participating COSIA member companies partnering in both the Carbon XPRIZE and the ACCTC.

There are two tracks to the global US$20 million Carbon XPRIZE.The ACCTC is being used for the natural gas track of the competition, while a test centre in Wyoming is used for the coal track. The 10 finalists,  selected from the 47 contest entrants Are now in the final pilot-testing phase, testing their technologies at their respective test centres, with the prize scheduled to be awarded in 2021The ACCTC, owned and operated by InnoTech Alberta, is providing five finalists for the natural gas track with a facility to test and refine their technologies using flue gas from the Shephard Energy Centre (SEC) located next door.

Earlier this fall, Carbon XPRIZE partners and guests  toured the ACCTC to learn about the work that’s taking place as part of the competition and see the infrastructure first-hand, including Canada’s only carbon capture unit, which can concentrate the CO2 stream coming from SEC.

It’s exciting to see the facility first-hand and hear more about how the projects are developing,” says Brenda Leeds Binder, Suncor’s shareholder steering committee representative for COSIA. “We wish the finalists good luck in this last stage of the competition and look forward to seeing the final results.

Among the products the finalists are developing from recycled emissions are carbon-infused concrete, nanotubes and vodka – yes, vodka! During the tour of the ACCTC, visitors also met with one of the finalists from Toronto- based company, CERT, currently working to convert CO2 into things like ethylene. Learn more about all the finalists from around the world who are working towards turning CO2 into an asset, not a liability. The teams come from around the world and represent their countries like, Canada (including one from Alberta), China, India, Scotland, and the United States.

While COVID-19 has posed some challenges over 2020 in terms of getting the carbon capture unit and finalists to the site, all teams are abiding by local and global public health guidelines and the competition continues to move ahead.

We can’t wait to see which usable CO2 product brings home the top prize.