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Capturing and reusing CO2 to make Côte-Nord industries “greener”

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan26,2024

Capturing and reusing CO2 to make the industries of the North Shore more “&nbsp ;green »

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The CycleCarbone company will help Quebec's largest polluters, namely ArcelorMittal, Aluminerie Alouette and Rio Tinto IOC, to reduce their atmospheric GHG emissions. (Archive photo)

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Researchers were commissioned to help three of Quebec's largest polluters, ArcelorMittal, Aluminerie Alouette and Rio Tinto IOC, all of which have mega-facilities on the North Shore, to reduce their atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions ( GES).

The study project is led by the full professor of the chemical engineering department at the École Polytechnique de Montréal and co-founder of CycleCarbone, Louis Fradette.

Her team is working on two fronts.

She is first working on a chemical solution to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in industrial fumes from major polluters on the North Shore. Secondly, the researchers will attempt to establish the foundations of an energy ecosystem in the Sept-Îles and Port-Cartier sector.

The goal is to create a network in which north coastal cities will be able to consume CO2 from major polluters which will have been captured and reconverted for use again.

LoadingQuebec loses $1 billion because of “a huge energy deficit”

ELSELSE ON INFO: Quebec loses $1 billion because of “a huge energy deficit”

Rather than bringing, for example, diesel fuel from the Montreal region by boat, we could think of producing it locally using these emissions, points out engineer Louis Fradette. This has the advantage of using the same carbon two or three times before it ends up in the atmosphere.

We are trying to circularize carbon, working in a region with large emitters who become a source of carbon, then consumers who are cities or businesses, he adds.

This scenario is based on the same principles of the circular economy, where the outputs of one are the inputs of the other.

Thanks to the network that the partners are trying to set up, SMEs or start-ups could offer value-added products made from carbon captured in the region, such as particle boards, a material widely used in the field of construction.

Not only do we capture things that are harmful to the environment, but we revalue them and turn them into beneficial products, amazes the project manager of the Innovation Zone in mines and metals 4.0, energy intelligence and the rail industry (ZIMER) in Sept-Îles, Donald Bhéré, who coordinates the study partners.

Ten Quebec companies alone, including Aluminerie Alouette, Rio Tinto and ArcelorMittal, were responsible for nearly half of the emissions attributable to the industrial sector in 2019, according to a study signed by the Institute for Socioeconomic Research and Information and published in 2022.

These companies release millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. It's a great potential pool of resources.

A quote from Louis Fradette, professor of chemical engineering at the Polytechnique de Montréal

The current process represents, according to Louis Fradette and Donald Bhéré, the first initiative to establish an energy ecosystem in Canada. We are the first to do this. It raises a lot of interest, underlines the ZIMER project manager.

The partners believe that other large companies, whose shareholders have branches all over the world, will have their eyes on the result of this study which should be published in June.

Each of the companies has undertaken decarbonization plans individually. […] The new thing is really to bring us together, adds the co-founder of CycleCarbone.

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The Port-Cartier pellet plant processes ore from the Fermont region.

Last December, scientists collected all the data on the carbon consumption of large companies. We wanted to know not only how much they emit, but also how much fuel they put in their trucks, how much heating oil they use in certain sections of the factory, etc., explains Mr. Fradette.

To capture CO2 in industrial fumes, researchers must install a device at the end of the factory's production line, i.e. in the chimneys through which the emissions are released.

The device will contain a chemical solution which concentrates the carbon dioxide and releases it again, in another form. We can imagine here a sponge in liquid form which makes CO2 soluble.

Mr. Fradette mentions that his team will propose some chemical capture solutions for all participating companies. She must also submit ideas for value-added products and estimate the energy and financial costs of the processes offered to companies.

The objective of the study is to go to the next step, which is to begin to realize projects in the region.

A quote from Louis Fradette, full professor of the chemical engineering department at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal

The study benefits from an investment of $300,000, in equal parts, from the MRC of Sept-Rivières and of the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. The three major companies are also each donating $100,000 to fund the study.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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