1. What is CCN?

CCN is a technological adaptation of one of Earth’s natural sinks for carbon dioxide called weathering. In the process, carbon dioxide (CO2) forms a mild acid when combined with water (acid rain) and this is then neutralized (acid base reaction) with alkaline minerals producing safe, stable carbonates and valuable, marketable byproducts.

2. Is CCN proven technology ?

No, in the sense that we at Cuycha Innovation do not own and operate a functional pilot plant at this date. There is however a plant built using our process that can neutralize up to 0.5 million tons of CO2 per year.

3. Is CCN a viable solution to carbon emissions ?

Yes, CCN can “Bind all fossil carbon, worldwide capacity 5000 Gt CO2” [1]. For example, mining waste (tailing) from one single branch of the industry in South Africa (Platinum) could be used to neutralize 13.9 million tons of CO2 per year [2].

4. What benefits does CCN present compared to CCS ?

a. Economical, CCS always costs money. Sequestration costs vary, but are estimated at $ 50 per ton of CO2 [3]. This does not include damages and financial outlay for eventual accidents. CCN makes money. Typically $ 400-600 per ton of CO2 neutralized, possibly as much as $ 6,000.

b. Safety, CCN is a safe, final solution to carbon emissions; there are “no leakage problems from carbonates” [1]. The carbon dioxide is converted into a safe stable form and will not leak back into the environment.

c. Employment, CCN will generate new jobs and whole sectors of industry for quarrying, logistics, mineral processing, agriculture, etc.

d. Return of investment from CCS, CCN can utilize existing equipment, piping, etc. originally intended for CCS.

5. Is CCN considered CCMC ?

No, technically CCN is not Carbon Capture & Mineral Carbonation, because the CCMC process is defined by the formation of metal carbonates, typically from silicates of Calcium and Magnesium. It also uses very high temperatures and pressures to produce a similar reaction to CCN but much more quickly. In CCN we can use these silicates as well, but also more abundant aluminium and aluminium/calcium silicates that produce much higher valued byproducts. Also, as CCN can operate with simple, inexpensive machinery and at or near room temperature and normal pressure, a CCN plant cost about one hundredth of a similar CCMC plant in construction and operating costs.

6. Does CCN require much water ?

Yes, the chemistry of the process requires around 2.5 tons of water for every ton of CO2 neutralized, but in our generation two and especially generation three plants, water recycling has been optimized to 85% requiring less than 400 liters per ton of CO2. Besides, CCN process water does not need to be clean, potable water; we can use polluted river water, plant coolant, sea water and even acid mine drainage. The best part is these polluted, acidy or salty waters are filtered by the process into clean, bicarbonate rich water that is valuable to agriculture.

7. What about the massive amounts of Minerals ?

Mineral logistics is definitely an issue and must be addressed in the early phases of any CCN plant design. However, it is simply a matter of logistics and several options present themselves:

a. Use large volume transport, i.e. rail or ship

b. Use a pipeline to deliver the CO2 to the mineral instead

c. Use nearby mine tailings or metal works slag for bulk processing and ship in high concentration minerals for profit.

8. What minerals can be used ?

Although any silicate mineral will work, the CCN process is optimized for minerals called feldspars. From Wikipedia: “Feldspars are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth's crust”. Other silicates can be used as well, for example the magnesium silicates favored by typical CCMC processes. This brings the usable minerals to nearly 90% of the surface. Besides naturally occurring minerals, slag from metal works and other industry can be used as well as toxic waste such as “red mud”. A table of most used minerals and their relive reactance is below:

9. What about mineral costs ?

Typically, the feldspars and other silicates used in the CCN-process have little or no value. They are waste rock comprising 90% of the Earth’s crust and only have value if they contain precious stones, metals, etc. Even the optimal feldspar for CO2 neutralization, anorthite (available in very pure deposits worldwide), only costs $ 8-14 per ton F.O.B. Also, we must remember that the CCN-process can use mining waste and tailings, often available nearby and at little or no cost. Canada, for example produces two million tons of mining waste per day [4], enough to neutralize 250,000 tons of CO2.

10. What danger or environmental hazards does a CCN plant pose ?

None. CCN is designed to remove one of worst environmental hazards threatening all life on this planet carbon dioxide emissions, and can safely remove others as well, like acid mine drainage. All water bourn compounds like aluminium oxides are the main byproducts of the process and guarantee profitability. Therefore, these are all collected with well known methods and none are passed to the environment. All that remains after processing is clean, filtered water containing bicarbonate ions. These are not only not harmful to the environment, but beneficial for all grain crops and an absolute necessity for marine organisms.



11. What is the chemistry behind the CCN process ?

The chemistry of CCN is an Acid/Base reaction. The acid component is carbonic acid formed by washing the carbon dioxide with water: CO2 + H2O <-> H2CO3 (The state changes with ph and other factors) The acid levels are kept constant with continuous bubbling of CO2 throughout the process. The base components are the various alkaline silicates used. Here the typical reaction with feldspar:

CaAl2Si2O8 + 2CO2 + H2O ? Ca2+ + 2HCO3- + 2SiO2 + 2Al(OH)3

The chemistry can also accommodate other acids and reactions, for example sulfur oxides. Sulfur oxides will react with water producing sulfuric acid. Reacting with the aluminum hydroxide from the above equation:

2Al(OH)3 + 3H2SO4 ? Al2(SO4)3·6H2O This will produce safe and marketable aluminium sulfate and release pure water back into the process.

12. What byproducts are produced ?

Typical byproducts of the CCN process and their main uses are:

a. Aluminium oxide and hydroxide, raw material for the aluminum industry

b. Calcium carbonate, used in construction, paper and other industries

c. Silicates, used in ceramics, glass and electronics industries

d. Lithium carbonate, battery industry e. Bicarbonate water, agriculture

13. What compounds or metals can be produced ?

Theoretically, nearly any chemical compound or metal can be produced. It is only dependant on the materials used and the process temperature, pressure, etc. A large CCN plant could be constructed as a chemical factory; producing made-to-order products for the world market. Although the CCN process normally runs at low temperatures and pressures, special vessels could be constructed as part of the plant to provide the necessary conditions for special process batches.

14. How are different materials separated from the process ?

Heavier metals naturally settle and collect at the bottoms of the CCN reactors. Lighter metals, like aluminium oxides are easily separated by crystallization or frothing (foaming with air and skimming from surface). Other compounds may require additional reagents, filtering, electrolysis, etc. All the processes are well known and readily available.

15. How much energy is required ?

Compared to CCS and other processes, CCN actually produces energy. The chemical reaction described above is called an exothermic reaction. This means that as the reaction takes place, energy is produced in the form of heat. Currently, at generation three, the CCN process is nearly energy neutral; generating the energy needed to keep the process going. Generation four aims at actually adding to the electrical output of a power plant.

16. Isn’t “weathering” too slow for an industrial process ?

No, it is not. We use a large enough mass of onsite materials to cope with the flow of CO2. Also, various other technologies are incorporated to enhance and accelerate the chemical reaction.



17. What does a CCN plant cost ?

The price tag depends on many different factors, but a good average is that a CCN plant designed to handle 500,000 tons of CO2 per year costs about $ 30 million to build. We even have a very good third party verification of this amount. As the size of the plant doubles, the price of CCN does not, as much of the cost is the washing and pressurization equipment, what we like to call the “front end”. As previously mentioned, the final cost depends on many factors:

a. CCN Generation

b. Utilizing available structures, cooling towers, etc.

c. Possible CO2 capture equipment already in place

d. Concentration of CO2 in flue (Oxyfeed, etc.)

e. Temperatures available for CO2 feed

These to mention just a few. Obviously, things like local labour costs, material costs, shipping of components, etc. will play key roles in the total costs of construction.

18. How much does it cost to neutralize 10,000 tons of CO2 ?

Again, that depends. But if we disregard for a moment things like capital costs, base license fees, etc. and just concentrate on what needs to be put in to get the job done, here is an example, with approximate costs using pure anorthite (CaAl2Si2O8):

a: anorthite, 32,000 tons, cost: $ 400,000

b: water (with 75% recirculation), 6,250, cost: $ 12,500

c: electrical & Misc., cost: $ 2,500

d: operating fee (licensing annual royalty): $ 12,200 So, we end up with costs totaling around $ 427,000, or $ 42.70 per ton of CO2, a little below the current cost of CCS. But, now we get to the plus side of the equation, something you won’t get with CCS. Calculating the basic easily sold products:

a: aluminium oxides, 11,000 tons, value: $ 6.5 million

b: silicates, 13,500 tons, value: $ 2 million

c: calcium carbonate, 14,000 tons, value: $ 1,5 million

And you could even sell the water back (it will actually be cleaner and enriched with bicarbonates). When we do the math (value of byproducts – costs), we get 10,000,000 – 427,000 = 8,085,000, or around $ 9,5 million. Neutralizing 10,000 tons of CO2 will net you a profit of $ 950 for each ton.

19. What is the typical ROI or payback time for a CCN plant ?

Typically, the ROI period for a CCN plant is 18 months of operation. In any case, the plant will be producing profit after 2 years of operation. Very few industrial facilities can claim this. Of this we also have third party verification.



20. Who owns CCN technology ?

The patents and IPR to CCN technology are owned by Cuycha Innovation Oy, a limited company in Finland.

21. What other companies are associated with the CCN technology ?

Neutraco Group has started operations in 2015 and will consult, deliver, build, own and operate  CCN and oxygen projects worldwide.

Kagisano Innovations (pty) Ltd. of Botswana holds sole IPR rights to the African continent and provides all consulting and design work for CCN projects worldwide.

CCN Solutions Australia (pty) Ltd. holds IPR rights for the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It will be responsible for raising funding, constructing and operating CCN plants in the aforementioned areas.

Capturing Carbon Cymru Ltd. holds IPR rights for the United Kingdom (and any areas pertaining there to). It will be responsible for raising funding, constructing and operating CCN plants there.

Other, similar companies are planned for the US, China, Central Europe and Middle-East.



22. What does a CCN plant look like ?

The most distinguishing features of a CCN plant are the actual CCN reactors. These are large (20-50 meters high) slip-form, concrete silos. Depending on plant size, there can be up to 20 reactors on site. A rendition of a typical generation two (left) and generation three (right) CCN plant are below:


Glossary CCN:

Carbon Capture & Neutralization

CCS: Carbon Capture & Sequestration (or Storage)

Gt: Giga ton. 1Gt = 1,000,000 tons

CCMC: Carbon Capture & Mineral Carbonation

F.O.B: Free on Board

IPR: Intellectual Property Rights

TPA: Tons Per Annum (year)

ROI: Return On Investment

Reference documents:

[1] 09 Ron Zevenhoven Cop CCS 11-03-2009

[2] Scoping_study_on_CO2_mineralization_technologies_report

[3] Carbon Capture Journal May 2011

[4] Mining Watch Canada December 2009