Capitol Aggregates commences carbon capture

Carbon capture is one compliance strategy for fossil fuel users bound by the proposed Clean Power Plan carbon dioxide emissions thresholds. One of the method’s first commercial scale projects began operation late last year at Capitol Aggregates’ flagship cement mill in San Antonio. Parent company Zachry Corp. operates the $125 million Capitol SkyMine in partnership with Austin, Texas-based process developer Skyonic Corp.

Sources: Skyonic Corp., Austin, Texas; CP staff

Capping a four-year funding and construction program, Skyonic scheduled an October 21 dedication of a $125 million, commercial-scale carbon capture and utilization facility—the first of its kind in the world—at Capitol Aggregates’ flagship cement mill in San Antonio.

Backed by Capitol parent Zachry Corp. and investors including ConocoPhillips and BP, the Capitol SkyMine will have a total carbon impact of 300,000 tons annually, through direct capture of 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide and transformation into usable products like baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), bleach and hydrochloric acid. Using Skyonic’s SkyMine technology, the venture is expected to generate approximately $48 million in revenue and $28 million in annual earnings—all from greenhouse gas emissions that previously would have been released into the atmosphere.

Capitol SkyMine emanates from a $25 million Department of Energy grant Skyonic secured in 2010 to demonstrate commercial scale CO2 capture. The SkyMine process allows owners of industrial facilities or fossil-fuel-fired power plants to capture up to 90 percent of CO2 emissions from flue gas and transform them into solid products.

Related articles
First commercial-scale CO2 capture operation set for Capitol Aggregates mill
Co2-Capturing Aggregate Processor Calera Lands $19.8 Million Doe Grant