Reducing Air Pollution by Transforming Pollutants into Useful Products
In most countries, industries are required by law to reduce air pollution by treating the gases they emit. A new technology by Clairion, developed at the Hebrew University, offers a single integrated solution for multiple pollutants - uniquely efficient and environmentally friendly for industries of all sizes – with the added benefits of transforming the pollutants to useful products and saving considerable amounts of money
Following several very successful Industrial pilot projects, the CleanTech start-up Clairion is in the process of raising an additional funding round in order to take its transformative technology to the next stage. The potential is enormous, as Clairion’s patented technology boasts several valuable advantages over currently available solutions. Most importantly, utilizing novel liquids for in proprietary absorption and separation processes, Clairion’s innovative system can remove multiple pollutants from emissions at the same time with the same system – including Nitrogen Oxides, Sulfur Oxides Mercury and other heavy metals. Until now, each pollutant had to be treated by a separate dedicated technology y, which created more waste streams and, often, secondary contamination. By simultaneously extracting multiple pollutants, industries subject to pollution control regulations enjoy a simplified, streamlined solution as well as significant cost reduction of up to 30%. Even more impressive is the fact that the extracted waste is transformed into useful and valuable products such as fertilizers and commercial sulfuric acid. As a result, these industries not only comply with the most stringent regulation and minimize their waste operation; they also benefit from an additional revenue stream. Moreover, it is a closed-loop process that is fully regenerative – These factors minimize the impact on the environment and contribute to additional savings.
Clairion’s unique technology was developed by Dr. Zach Barnea as part of his doctoral research in Green Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Joined by Hagay Keller as CEO the initiative was further refined in a CleanTech accelerator affiliated with the university’s technology transfer company, Yissum. Clairion, founded in 2015 as MercuRemoval, originally focused on mercury removal from flue gases, and later expanded its technology to include the simultaneous treatment of multiple pollutants. “Zach’s goal was to treat gas emissions in a more environmental way and to revolutionize the process so that polluting industries would make a much smaller environmental footprint on their surroundings. His vision won me over,” says Hagay Keller, Clairion’s CEO. In simple terms, the contaminated flue gas runs through our system in which the liquid is continuously circulated and sprayed, and when our liquid drops meet the gas the reaction occurs and the pollutants are separated from the gas and practically captured by our novel liquid. The liquid is continuously circulated and when drops meet the gas, the pollutants are separated from the gas and absorbed in the liquid. The liquid forms a stable complex with the absorbed pollutants, avoiding evaporation and re-emission. The absorbed pollutants are then extracted as useful products with commercial value, and the liquid is regenerated and ready to be used again. This technology is relevant for all industries that involve thermal processes and struggle with controlling emissions, such as power plants, waste to energy facilities, metal processing plants, oil refineries, cement factories and chemical industries, among others. The technology is scalable and can be implemented in factories and facilities of all sizes. Clairion’s system is suitable for meeting the most demanding regulatory standards and ensures compliance with future changes in regulations, so that clients will not require additional investments to adapt to new laws.
Understandably, potential clients must be assured of the system’s demonstrated capabilities before they commit to large investments in overhauling their environmental compliance system, especially since many are conservative industries that tend to be wary of changes. To this end, in the past few years with the support of its investors and grants from the Israeli Innovation Authority, Clairion has invested its resources in designing and producing industrial pilot systems to validate the system’s efficacy. Two of the pilots tested and demonstrated Clairion’s highly efficient Mercury removal technology: one at a power plant operated by the Israel Electric Corporation, and the other at a power plant in the Czech Republic in collaboration with a leading European energy group. The latter was successfully carried out in 2020 despite the challenges of Covid-19 and is now serving the commercialization process this technology. The third pilot project tested Clairion’s multiple pollutant removal system, which is currently in the pre-commercial phase. Following the successful collaboration with the Israel Electric Corporation in the previous pilot the system was installed and operated over a one-year period at their coal-based power plant, and the results proved that the pollutant removal rates were extremely high using Clairion’s technology. A second pilot system for treating multiple pollutants is set to be installed in a European site by the end of this summer.
Clairion’s flexible business model takes into account the nature of heavy industries and the value chain typical to the target markets. The company plans to continue working with local strategic partners around the world, as it already has in Europe, to help introduce the novel technology to potential end users. Click here for information about Clairion