CenterPoint Energy of Houston, Texas, and Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, part of Choice Hotels International Inc., announced in late March the groundbreaking installation of a carbon-capture technology unit, CarbinX, developed by CleanO2 of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This marks the first hotel in the world to use this innovative system that captures greenhouse gas emissions from heating equipment. The installation is part of a program by CenterPoint Energy, Minnesota’s largest natural gas utility, to explore the potential of new, cleaner energy technologies. CenterPoint Energy paid for the installation of the CarbinX system at the hotel.
The size of about two home refrigerators, the CarbinX device is connected directly to the flue of the hotel’s natural gas water heating equipment, where it captures carbon dioxide and converts it to a nontoxic carbonate powder known as pearl ash. CleanO2, the manufacturer of CarbinX, collects the pearl ash and recycles it as a key ingredient in commercial products such as soaps and detergents.
The products are sold online at CleanO2.ca to customers in the U.S. and Canada. They are also sold through several retail chains and boutiques in Canada.
Radisson Blu Mall of America also expects to reduce its energy bill because the CarbinX unit recycles heat, increasing efficiency in the water heating system to achieve both energy and cost savings. CenterPoint Energy is deploying the CarbinX technology in a pilot program with 10 of its commercial customers in Minnesota, including Radisson Blu Mall of America. Additional CarbinX installations are also being considered for inclusion in the utility’s first five-year innovation plan under the 2021 Natural Gas Innovation Act, a landmark Minnesota energy law.
“We are thrilled to be leading the way to the future of hospitality stewardship,” says Alberto Abreu, general manager of the hotel. “We at Radisson Blu Mall of America and Choice Hotels International are committed to being part of the climate change solution, and we are proud to be a leader in the industry as the first hotel in the world to install a CarbinX unit. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with CenterPoint Energy and CleanO2 to demonstrate the success of CarbinX in this setting, and we’re extremely optimistic about the impact this technology can make.”
Steve Greenley, CenterPoint Energy’s senior vice president for utility operations support, says, “CenterPoint Energy is committed to evaluating innovative solutions to reduce emissions and advance a cleaner energy future. Through our natural gas utility in Minnesota, we are excited to offer our business customers the opportunity to deploy this new technology that can help decrease their carbon footprint while also reducing their energy usage and heating bills.”
Jaeson Cardiff, CEO of CleanO2, adds, “Moving carbon capture technology to the mainstream takes vision and commitment. At some point, we hope people will take it for granted. But right now, we need leadership and collaboration. That’s exactly what we’ve experienced from CenterPoint Energy and Radisson Blu Mall of America. We’re proud to collaborate with them for this installation.”
For a brief video explaining how the CarbinX unit works, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBniOXtrkmU.