CARBON CAPTURE AS A SERVICE
To achieve the climate goals, we must do more than simply reduce carbon emission levels. Capturing CO2 appears to be a promising solution. After Almelo-based company Bouman Industries built the first CO2 capture installation in the Netherlands in 2014 in collaboration with Twence, they realized the potential of this technology. This led to the foundation of Carbotreat, which focuses entirely on implementing this solution. Managing director Frank Sanders discusses their innovation.
Although the industrial sector is gradually reducing its carbon emissions, it is still the main culprit when it comes to pollution. “Consequently, this is also where the best results can be achieved,” says Frank. “Those companies often use heat or steam in their process and have a steam boiler, a gas turbine, or a motor that runs on natural gas. When you burn natural gas, you emit CO2. We build installations that can capture this CO2. Our solution is compatible with everything from small companies to full-size coal-fired plants. As you can imagine, it is difficult for these companies to become more sustainable: transitioning to hydrogen is incredibly costly, and going fully electric is not always a viable option either. The power grid must be compatible, and sometimes you need steam in your production process. Installing one of our carbon capture installations requires hardly any modification of the production process, yet it has a significant impact by capturing and storing the harmful emissions.”
Making the shipping sector more sustainable
Another sector where Carbotreat is making an impact is the shipping industry. “Together with eighteen other companies, we are running a pilot to demonstrate that our installation also works on ships,” Frank explains. “We are one of the first companies in the world to do something like this. The installation is currently on a ship, where it will remain for six months. The CO2 captured from the ship's fumes is converted into a liquid and stored in a tank. The current installation is small and primarily intended as a proof of concept. After the pilot, we hope to attract full-scale orders. That could expedite the efforts to make the shipping sector more sustainable. At the moment, the focus is mainly on alternative green fuels. Ships have a long lifespan, so we need a solution that can also be used on older ships. By capturing CO2, we can make the shipping industry significantly more sustainable in a short time span. Eventually, once ships start running on methanol, you can convert the captured CO2 into fuel to create a closed loop.”
Carbon capture as a service
Back to the industrial sector, for which Frank was looking for a new business model. After all, many small entrepreneurs cannot afford their own carbon capture installation. During Innovate GO, Frank examined the possibility of offering their concept as a service. Frank: “Carbon capture can help SMEs in the industrial sector become more sustainable, but many entrepreneurs are still unfamiliar with the technology. That was an eye-opener for me. We spoke at length with potential clients to see if our concept could work for them. The response we received was overwhelmingly positive because our solution allows these businesses to become more sustainable without overhauling their production process. We can make the chain more sustainable by offering tailor-made solutions, because the entrepreneurs can sell and reuse the captured CO2.
We still use the approach we learned about during Innovate GO for other innovation projects. The approach that Novel-T introduced us to is not the only thing that has proven invaluable; the network opened many doors for us as well. For example, we met people with experience in the world of servitization. That was very valuable for us. Combined with our experience with this technology, this could really take off. Carbon capture is a promising technology we need to protect our planet. It is impossible to eliminate carbon emissions altogether, but by capturing the CO2, you can still achieve a circular chain. I definitely believe Carbotreat's future looks bright.
"Our solution allows SMEs to become more sustainable without overhauling their production process."
Frank SandersManaging director of Carbotreat
After Almelo-based company Bouman Industries built the first CO2 capture installation in the Netherlands in 2014 in collaboration with Twence, they realized the potential of this technology. This led to the foundation of Carbotreat, which focuses entirely on implementing this solution.