We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Andre Boulet, (former) CEO of Svante – a developer of energy- and capital-efficient carbon capture tech – after the company announced its latest round of growth funding from new strategic investor Chevron Technology Ventures, as well as existing investors, last week.
The company got started in 2007 with a unique piece of technology based on the process of thermal swing adsorption. Unlike other post-combustion carbon capture technologies that use amines or chemical solvents, Svante’s VeloxoTherm™ platform is based on a solid, ceramic-like adsorbent with a honeycomb form factor. This material has enhanced heat and mass-transport properties that translate into energy-efficient regeneration of the adsorbent via the use of low-grade steam.
More in common with its competitors, however, the oil & gas industry, and specifically enhanced oil recovery (EOR) sites that pump CO2 down into tapped wells to release remaining hard-to-get deposits, have become Svante’s primary near-term market focus. And the company’s been racking up partnerships with heavyweights in that space, most recently with new investor Chevron Technology Ventures. “Focus has definitely shifted over the last seven years,” said Boulet. “Early on, it was evident that a comprehensive policy framework addressing carbon emissions was slow-coming. So how could we tweak our approach to serve a market need today? That’s where the EOR market presented the most compelling opportunity.”
Starting in about 2009, Suncor,