Corporate Partnerships Help Svante Scale-Up Carbon Capture Tech

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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,


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“It is empowering to know, given my Alberta heritage, our technology can change the climate impacts of the Alberta oil sands regions and generate significant additional economic benefits.”

Brett Henkel

Co-Founder and Vice President Strategic Accounts & Government Affairs

Brett Henkel’s unabashed optimism tempered by his mechanical engineering background and gas separation experience combine to bring a rare perspective to his position on Svante’s executive team.

Transferring the company’s breakthrough CO2 capture technology to customers’ sites will rely heavily on Brett’s strengths for identifying and understanding the technical and business details and relating those details to partners’ teams, approving agencies, and stakeholders.

As co-founder, he was instrumental in creating the process and the hardware used to prove the technology’s effectiveness as well as mobilizing external support throughout the path to becoming a successful innovation. These experiences strengthened his knowledge of business development and program management priorities.

Prior to launching Svante, Mr. Henkel was the program manager for QuestAir Technologies’ compact hydrogen production system with its partner, ExxonMobil. He is credited with designing the world’s first solenoid-driven rapid pressure swing adsorption test station.

Brett received his Bachelor of Science in Physics, with distinction, and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Victoria.

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