BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 25, 2014) - Mantra Energy Alternatives, a subsidiary of Mantra Venture Group Ltd. (OTCQB:MVTG), has officially entered into a contract with NORAM Engineering and BC Research Inc. (BCRI) to deploy a pilot plant for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (ERC). The procurement of custom equipment is set to begin shortly, in parallel with the completion of the final engineering. The project will culminate in construction and commissioning at the Lafarge cement plant in Richmond, B.C.
The ERC process converts carbon dioxide, the most prolific greenhouse gas, into useful chemicals such as (among others) formic acid and formate salts. The pilot plant will convert 100 kilograms per day of the carbon dioxide emitted from the Lafarge plant into concentrated formate salts, which are valuable products that sell for around $1,500 per tonne. Mantra anticipates future plant expansion that will see the production of formic acid and other products as well.
"This will be the first pilot plant of its kind in the world," says Patrick Dodd, VP, Corporate Development. "It will be a useful tool that we can adapt in the future to produce a range of different products from carbon dioxide."
Procurement will begin in parallel with the detailed engineering, with certain long-lead time pieces of custom equipment being ordered and built early to facilitate a timely deployment of the plant.
"We are now in a position not only to complete the engineering, but also to simultaneously begin procurement, and to begin construction as soon as possible," says Mantra President Larry Kristof.
BCRI is the R&D arm of NORAM Engineering and Constructors, providing engineering and scientific services in the commercialization of new technologies. Their highly experienced team specializes finding innovative solutions in the scale up of new processes to the demonstration phase and beyond.
Adds Mr. Kristof, "NORAM and BCRI have done incredible work thus far, and we are very pleased to have them engaged to complete the project."
ERC, or the "Electro-Reduction of Carbon Dioxide", is a form of "carbon capture and utilization" that converts the pollutant carbon dioxide into useful, valuable products including formic acid and formate salts. By utilizing clean electricity, the process offers the potential for an industrial plant to reduce emissions while generating a salable product and a profit.
In a conventional fuel cell, the fuel and oxidant flow in separate streams, separated by an ion-conducting membrane that divides the cell into discreet anode and cathode chambers. The single-cells are stacked electrically in series using bipolar flow-field plates that provide most of the stack weight and volume.
By contrast, in a mixed-reactant fuel cell, or "MRFC", a mixture of fuel and oxidant flows through the cell as a single stream. The mixed-feed concept allows for a variety of conventional and unconventional cell stack designs including the Mantra's patented Swiss-roll MRFC design. Simplification of MRFC systems is possible because they can operate without the gastight structures within the stack that are required for sealing, manifolding, and separating reactant delivery in conventional fuel cells. As a result, MRFCs can provide significantly less expensive fuel cell systems with high volumetric power density.
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Forward-looking statements: Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and are subject to risks and uncertainties. See Mantra Venture Group's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which identify specific factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements.