CenterPoint Energy’s interest in exploring the potential of cleaner energy techniques has led to the world’s first installation of a breakthrough carbon-capture unit in a hotel.
The installation of a CarbinX carbon-capture unit in Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, is part of a pilot project evaluating the technology’s emissions reduction and energysaving performance in commercial buildings. CenterPoint Energy is deploying the CarbinX units in 10 commercial locations in the state.
Approximately the size of two home refrigerators, a CarbinX unit is connected to the flue of natural gas heating equipment. The unit captures carbon dioxide and converts it into a nontoxic carbonate powder known as pearl ash. The pearl ash is then collected by CleanO2, the manufacturer of CarbinX, and used as a key ingredient in commercial cleaning products such as soap and detergents.
The pilot project is being conducted as part of the research and development component of CenterPoint Energy’s Conservation Improvement Program, which includes a portfolio of programs that help customers be more energy efficient.
CenterPoint Energy is also considering additional CarbinX installations for inclusion in its first five-year innovation plan under Minnesota’s new Natural Gas Innovation Act.
“To help advance wider adoption of this technology, we are considering offering a program under NGIA that would provide rebates for customers as incentives to install CarbinX units,” Todd Berreman, director of energy efficiency at CenterPoint Energy, told American Gas. “We are also interested in evaluating next-generation versions of CarbinX, which are expected to capture and convert even higher percentages of CO2 emissions.”
In addition to Radisson Blu Mall of America, one other CarbinX unit is installed and operating at a care facility in suburban Minneapolis as part of the CenterPoint program. For the remaining CarbinX installations, CenterPoint Energy is in advanced discussions with both private- and public-sector customers and expects most of these customers to have CarbinX units installed this year. —Eric Johnson