The Skyonic SkyMine™ process mineraizes CO2 as sodium carbonate (baking soda) for long-term storage as land or mine fill. It is a post-combustion carbon capture and sequestration technology that works with any large-scale stationary CO2 emitter (e.g.- fossil fueled power plants). The process removes heavy metals and acid gasses as well as carbon dioxide from conditioned at-temperature flue gas.
Sodium hydroxide, which is produced on site as a part of the SkyMine™ process is used to react with the CO2 to produce the sodium carbonate. The heat to drive the process is captured from the heat in the flue gas. The reaction to produce sodium hydroxide also produces hydrogen and chlorine as byproducts. These chemicals are also “green”; they are produced at low energy and without emitting CO2.
From a CNET report:
(According to Joe Jones, inventor and founder of the company), because the system captures metals and acid gases, it can replace the $400 million scrubbers that power plants currently have to install. Skyonic's system will probably cost about the same amount as a scrubber. Although the capital budget will be equal, power plant owners will get a salable byproduct and avoid carbon taxes, which may be imposed in the future.
A 500-megawatt power plant will produce approximately 338,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Multiply that weight by 1.9 and you get the number of tons of baking soda that the plant will produce.
Skyonic claims that since the technology can be retrofitted to existing facilities or designed into new ones, it addresses both the current problem of climate change, and the future demand for cleaner energy to support development.
They also claim that a SkyMine™ plant can be operated at a profit, because the hydrogen produced (as well as the chlorine and bicarbonates) have commercial value.
SkyMine™ began as an idea scribbled on a cocktail napkin and experiments conducted in the garage. The inventor of the SkyMine™ process, Joe Jones, founded Skyonic in 2005. Skyonic also filed a technology-defining method patent on the SkyMine™ process in 2005. Skyonic performed research and laboratory-scale testing on the process at Southwest Research Institute in 2005 and 2006, and began field testing the process at a coal-burning power plant in Texas later that year. Currently, Skyonic is performing pilot-scale demonstration plant work at Luminant Energy’s Big Brown Steam Electric Station in Fairfield, Texas, in real-world conditions.
In the second quarter of 2005 the company raised $1.25M from about 10 investors in a Series A preferred stock offering.
In 2006 the company concluded a Series B preferred stock offering, raising $3M from 5 investors. One of those investors was TXU Corp (now Energy Future Holdings Corp, a private company). The agreement with and investment in Skyonic helped fund an extensive field-test of the technology at Luminant Energy (the generating division of Energy Future Holdings) Big Brown Steam Electric Station to further develop and evaluate Skyonic’s SkyMine™ process.