Canadian Manufacturing

Cenovus invests $2.5M in Texas-based sustainable innovations firm

Skyonic transforms CO2 from industrial waste streams into solid carbonate, bicarbonate products



CALGARY—Calgary’s Cenovus Energy Inc. is investing $2.5-million in a Texas-based sustainable innovations firm.

According to Cenovus, it is investing in Austin, Texas-based Skyonic Corporation, a company developing technology to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into profitable products.

The investment is being made through the Cenovus Environmental Opportunity Fund, which makes strategic investments in companies pursuing technological innovations for the energy industry.

“At Cenovus, we believe doing right by the environment is simply good business,” Harbir Chhina, executive vice-president of oil sands at Cenovus, said in a statement.

“Skyonic’s technology is a good example of how creative thinking and technology can reduce the environmental impact of producing energy while creating valuable products.”

Skyonic transforms CO2 from industrial waste streams into solid carbonate and bicarbonate (essentially baking soda) which is used in the livestock and food industries.

The process also produces chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, bleach, chlorine and hydrogen, which may also be sold, and removes air pollutants.

“We believe converting CO2 into valuable carbonates is the best strategy for carbon,” Skyonic president and CEO Joe Jones said.

“We’re essentially turning pollution into a valuable commodity. Recycling the flue gas into carbonates profitably is a win for emitters, a win for society, and a win for investors as well.”

Cenovus’s investment is part of Skyonic’s latest funding round, which totaled $128-million.

The funds raised will primarily be used to support construction costs for a carbon capture and utilization plant Skyonic is building in San Antonio, Texas.

The facility, slated to be operational in 2014, is intended to prove the commercial viability of the technology.

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