Calpine & Blue Planet transform captured carbon into limestone

By Calpine | September 28, 2022

Calpine Corporation (Calpine) and Blue Planet Systems Corporation (Blue Planet) have commenced operations at a first-of-its-kind collaboration in California, where operators are transforming power plant emissions into mineralized carbon dioxide building materials in the form of synthetic limestone. Carbon dioxide from Los Medanos Energy Center (LMEC), Calpine’s 580 megawatt natural-gas powered combined-cycle cogeneration facility, is fed through a pipeline to Blue Planet’s adjacent Global Innovation Center, where the company turns the greenhouse gas into aggregate and other components for carbon-negative concrete suitable for common structural concrete applications.

Blue Planet’s subsidiary San Francisco Bay Aggregates, LLC (SFBA), located in Pittsburg, California, utilizes the synthetic limestone as concrete aggregate for climate-friendly construction projects that serve as a permanent, cost-effective, storage reservoir to permanently store carbon dioxide in concrete, such as projects for CalTrans, Silicon Valley high tech campuses, San Francisco International Airport, and the Habitat for Humanity project in San Leandro, CA. Following the demonstration phases, the goal is to build a commercial-scale plant in Pittsburg capable of capturing and sequestering 175,000 tonnes of CO2 annually in nearly 500,000 tonnes of synthetic limestone – the amount needed to make approximately 250,000 cubic yards of concrete. Ultimately, the global market for construction aggregate offers potential economical and sustainable storage for 24 billion tonnes of CO2 annually, almost half of total man-made CO2 emissions.

“This important milestone shows that we have a readily available tool to decarbonize one of the most common sources of industrial CO2,” said Dr. Brent R. Constantz, Blue Planet’s Founder, CEO and Chief Scientist. “With Calpine’s early investment and stalwart support, our site in Pittsburg is fast-becoming the centerpiece for this promising near-term solution to meet state, national and global carbon reduction targets across industries.”

“We’re thrilled to flip the switch on this remarkable collaboration, which creates a new option for Calpine to supply California with reliable, clean, and affordable energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” added Alex Makler, Senior Vice President of Calpine’s West Region. “Working with innovative partners like Blue Planet is an important part of our far-reaching efforts to showcase the full potential of CCS as a critical emissions-reduction technology, which experts worldwide believe will play a key role in achieving global climate goals.”