Researcher enters into partnership with Bow Valley Innovations

George Shimizu

Dr. George Shimizu

Author: Meghan Ockey – Innovate Calgary

Material, developed at the University of Calgary has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for a greener, healthier environment.

University of Calgary research has led to development of a novel material with application for cheaper carbon capture. The research team of George Shimizu, Professor, Department of Chemistry & Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, has developed a new material, which has the potential to significantly increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of carbon capture compared to current conventional methods. Shimizu’s work was partially funded through a grant by CMC Research Institutes.

“The material, which we call CALF-20, is like a little sponge, it is a solid that has tiny little holes in it,” explains Shimizu. “These little holes are the right size and shape to capture CO2 emissions. The material allows for gas separation of streams where CO2 could be one of the contaminants e.g. in natural gas. So what we are left with is a purified stream of the desired gas.”

Water stability has been a shortcoming of many solids that show high CO2 capture ability but Shimizu’s material is stable in water and even steam.

The research done to validate these materials has been scaled to kilograms in the lab. Shimizu’s next step is to scale the research to tonnes for pilot scale testing, which is the validation required by industry.

Partnership agreement

Shimizu has worked with the team at Innovate Calgary to enter into a partnership with Bow Valley Innovations (BVI) to further develop the technology.

“The current partnership with BVI would lead to industrial scale manufacturing of the material and development of pilot carbon capture units for the industry (a delivery system),” explains Raja Singh, Senior Intellectual Property Manager, Innovate Calgary. “BVI is currently following interest from companies in Germany, China and South Korea as well as Canada for partnerships.”

Innovate Calgary has filed patents to protect the chemical compositions of the materials developed by Shimizu.

“We believe our research team’s Metal Organic Framework is a significant step forward in carbon-capture technology and could enable wide adoption of a low cost-effective solution to reducing CO2 emissions,” explained George Stephenson, Chairman, BVI. “Therefore, our BVI team looks forward to quickly advancing our technology to commercialization.”

Richard Adamson, President of CMC Research Institutes, said it is critical that more researchers investigate avenues for the scale-up and commercialization of their work. “George is an outstanding researcher and we were happy to provide support to his project. We’d love to see more researchers work toward moving their research from the bench into the field – it’s key to solving the challenge of greenhouse gas emissions management.”

About Innovate Calgary

As a leading technology transfer and commercialization centre, Innovate Calgary works closely with startups, entrepreneurs, researchers and investors from the advanced tech sector to take innovation and ideas to the next stage of growth. Innovate Calgary has been successfully contributing to the growth and acceleration of the advanced technology sector for more than 30 years. Our integrated approach to commercialization focuses on facilitating connections among stakeholders and offering a comprehensive range of programs and services to achieve success