Creating the Lowest-Cost Solution for Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Aug 17, 2022 | Highlights, Mentions

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The Hydron team is leveraging years of experience developing gas separation technologies to commercialize a new multi-swing process that efficiently and cost-effectively converts wastes into fuels. The goal is to offer the lowest cost and smallest biogas upgrading system. 

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Between A Car Accident and Nature, Soheil Khiavi Launches Two Companies to Commercialize Low-Cost Solutions to Reduce GHG Emissions During Pre- and Post-Combustion

While being in a car accident is rarely viewed as a favorable circumstance, it was the catalyst that sparked Soheil Khiavi’s entrepreneurial ambitions to develop and commercialize the most efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Forced to stay home for several months in 2006 to recover, Khiavi often found himself watching broadcasts from the Canadian Parliament discussing long-term clean energy policies. He recalls listening to Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change at the time, discuss how Canada could not meet carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions targets set through the Kyoto Protocol because there were no technologies that could help with the reduction without hurting the economy.
Khiavi was on medical leave from his position as advanced applications leader with QuestAir Technologies, an emerging developer and supplier of advanced gas purification systems. Naturally curious and bored from being unable to work, the chemical engineer began researching the details. “It wasn’t a political gesture,” recalls Khiavi. “They were correct, meaning that no economically viable technology, product, or industry was available to meet those targets.”
Khiavi explains that back then, the cost for post-combustion carbon capture was about US$220 per ton, but needed to be much closer to US$22 per ton to be economically viable. He recalls that pre-combustion solutions had some options, but the technologies Khiavi investigated couldn’t achieve the cost targets needed. “More than a decade later, that problem still exists, but the gap is smaller since smart people have been working on the problem,” said Khiavi.
Khiavi was intrigued by the opportunity to lower Canada’s carbon emissions. But his employer, QuestAir, didn’t think the challenge fit with its commercial business models. Uninterested, the company released the concepts to Khiavi to pursue on his own time. Xebec Adsorption Inc. was eventually acquired by QuestAir, and Khiavi became the director of technology and process development of Xebec. After leading the commercial development of several hydrogen purifications, biogas upgrading, and natural gas dehydration systems using pressure swing adsorption, Khiavi resigned from Xebec to pursue his interests.

Read the full article in ESG Review’s Q3-2022 edition here.

 

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