Svante: Saving the World by Braving Hi-Tech’s “Valley of Death”

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If you want to save the world through carbon dioxide capture, you have to brave hi-tech’s “Valley of Death.”

To do that, you need a killer idea that leads to a game-changing innovation. And Burnaby-based Inventys has just that.

Svante (Inventys Thermal Technologies) has developed the world’s first commercially available post-combustion CO2 capture process that uses structured adsorbents. Instead of using a liquid, chemical-based process that creates toxic waste by-products, Svante’s VeloxoTherm process uses unique filters akin to a giant vacuum cleaner housed inside a structure similar to a rotary air pre-heater.

To capture the CO2, which is often very diluted within a huge volume of gas, Inventys has created a collection system that’s just 10 metres by 50 metres on the outside. But inside, it’s as big as all outdoors.

“In that small machine, we have the equivalent of the surface area of 1.5 times the size of Vancouver Island,” says Claude Letourneau, Svante President and CEO. “That’s cool, eh?”


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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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