BASF to manufacture Svante's MOF sorbent material at commercial scale for carbon capture

Canadian carbon capture and removal solutions provider Svante has entered into an arm’s length commercial supply agreement with chemical producer BASF to scale up its proprietary sorbent material, Calgary Framework 20 (CALF-20), used in Svante’s carbon capture process.

Svante's metal-organic framework (MOF), CALF-28, used for the company's novel carbon capture filter technology, is to be manufactured by BASF at commercial scale
Svante's metal-organic framework (MOF), CALF-28, used for the company's novel carbon capture filter technology, is to be manufactured by BASF at commercial scale - Photo: Business Wire.

This metal-organic framework (MOF) sorbent can capture up to 95% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from industrial sources, such as cement and blue hydrogen plants, using rapid solid adsorption and low-pressure steam.

Svante has pioneered carbon capture and removal technology using structured adsorbent beds, known as filters. The company has the world’s first commercially available MOF nanomaterial filter manufacturing facility in Vancouver, British Columbia.

This commercial supply agreement with BASF will unlock the next phase of Svante’s growth, scaling carbon capture filter manufacturing up to multi-million-tonne capacity and implementing hundreds of large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities by 2030.

Svante’s modular and environmentally responsible solid sorbent technology is designed to capture CO2 from industrial flue gas. It then concentrates it into a high purity 95% pipeline-grade) CO2 and releases it for safe storage or further industrial use. Its unique approach is tailored specifically to the challenges of separating CO2 from nitrogen in diluted flue gas, which is typically emitted in large volumes at low pressures and in dilute concentrations. Svante says its technology will play a key role in decarbonizing industrial activity in diverse fields including hydrogen, pulp and paper, cement, steel, aluminum and chemicals.

Svante and BASF have been working collaboratively for the last two years to scale up CALF-20, which acts as a sponge for adsorbing CO2. Results of their research, published in the international peer-reviewed journal, Science, in December 2021, demonstrated CALF-20's unique resistance to oxidation and water vapor, which allows CO2 to be captured at a low cost, using Svante’s proprietary structured adsorbent filters.

Solid sorbents are a step change for carbon capture, but the challenge is to merge all of their desirable features into a robust framework material with a low manufacturing cost. CALF-20 coupled with Svante’s filter addresses this challenge and captures CO2 with high capacity and selectivity over water.

“For high-performance CO2 capture and removal, steam stripping — where direct contact steam is used to flush CO2 out of the sorbent — has been a sort of ‘holy grail’ in the field. It is seen as the most effective way to do it,” said Claude Letourneau, president & CEO of Svante. “This MOF material, combined with our proprietary structured adsorption filters, is a game-changer for the carbon capture and removal industry. We have the right technology to reduce the capital cost of CO2 capture. It is modular and adaptable. Now, we need to scale up this technology and commercialize it to create a viable carbon management industry at gigaton scale.”

Svante, in collaboration with BASF, has successfully scaled up the CALF-20 MOF sorbent from laboratory to industrial scale by using a simple low-temperature process in accordance with green chemistry principles. Scalability and low cost of solid sorbents are imperative to the wide adoption of CCS. Up until now, large-scale production of MOF materials at low cost has been a barrier for the gas separation industry.

In addition to scaling up its CALF-20 manufacturing process, Svante has developed a high-volume and low-cost roll-to-roll process for coating the sorbent onto sheets of laminate, which it calls “Sorbent on a Roll”. The laminate is then stacked into high-performance filters, which are now available for both industrial point-source capture and direct air capture.