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Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

Reforming
C02
Phase II
Funding Proposal
Prepared for Kevin
Krueger, Minister of
State for Mines

April 19, 2007

1

Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

3

The Need

6

The Process

7

Project Team Members

8

Budget

10

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Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

Executive Summary
Throughout the month of March 2007, a theory that was ten years in the making was tested over
two dozen times. The hypothesis put forth by BC scientist Viva Cundliffe proposed that carbon
dioxide (CO2) could be reformed into its’ elemental components of carbon and oxygen and the
final results of those tests indicate that her theoretical premise was correct.
Working with Dr. Sharon Brewer and Dr. Bruno Cinel of Thompson Rivers University (TRU),
samples from the CO2 reaction chamber experiments were forwarded to the University of
Western Washington for preliminary qualitative identification by the university’s Electron
Scanning Microscope. Samples were prepared for scanning by a technician in Washington State
but the actual operation of the microscope was conducted remotely (Using BC Net fibre
network) by Dr. Cinel at TRU in Kamloops.
Using x-ray diffraction analysis techniques, four samples were scanned and all results showed
the CO2 had been separated and tentatively identified as carbon, boron, oxygen and a metallic
oxide. The presence of boron was likely a calibration error resulting from the scanning process
and Dr. Cinel and Dr. Brewer suggest the microscope be recalibrated in order to provide the
minute detail required to distinguish these closely related elements. However, the results appear
to indicate that Ms. Cundliffe’s theory and chamber design have indeed achieved her ultimate
goal of reforming carbon dioxide with the carbon separated and deposited as a solid in the
reaction chamber. A theory that when completely verified would change forever the way we
deal with greenhouse gas emissions.
The Interior Science Innovation Council (ISIC) took on this project with the goal of being able to
validate Ms. Cundliffe’s theory…A theory combining new science and technology that could
possibly become the largest commercialization and social benefit enterprise ever undertaken in
the province. ISIC achieved this initial proof of concept phase on a limited budget. Our lab was
an unheated garage donated by an ISIC staff member. Prototype reaction chambers were built by
hand from scrap metal and mostly used parts. Materials budget was set at $1,000 and over half
of the staff time was donated (through evenings and weekends) to the project. Scientific advice
and assistance was provided as a personal favor by science faculty professors from TRU. In
total, the six months leading up to and including the experiments conducted last month cost less
then $3000/month. However, the need to validate both the science and results of these
experiments will require a Phase II review that follows strict scientific procedures in a controlled
environment and as such the costs will be substantially greater.
With that in mind, the following pages will briefly detail the need, the process and the expected
results of a Phase II continuation of this project. Primarily we will be dealing with further
validation of current results, improved chamber design, achieving continuous conversion streams
and beginning the process of estimating energy consumption and outputs. Earlier experiments
have also indicated some possible new science (IP) resulting from the original work and Phase II
will catalogue and determine their commercialization potential for future study. A full legal
assessment of existing and future patents will be conducted and a legal opinion on related
intellectual property issues and next steps will be obtained.
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Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

During this next phase we will be constructing a new reaction chamber designed to operate on a
continuous basis, using a variety of materials, under varied operating parameters. A small
laboratory and monitoring equipment will be required and we will have to hire contract staff for
the duration of the project. Honorariums for professional advice and scientific support and
analysis will also be necessary. ISIC will continue to provide administrative support and project
management.
Phase II will take up to 6 months to complete and we anticipate having a full report available in
late September 2007. Included in that report will be:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

A Mass spectrometer analysis of test results
An electron scanning microscope analysis of test results
A carbon sampling analysis of test results.
Third party scientific review of the testing procedures and results
An estimation of energy requirements
An estimation of costs to proceed to a Phase III

This next phase is designed to verify Ms. Cundliffe’s theory and provide controlled and fully
documented experiments that conclusively demonstrate the successful and repeated reforming of
CO2. Phase II results must meet review standards and be capable of replication by independent
third party scientists. For this purpose and in addition to TRU, we are suggesting the possible
use of the National Research Council (NRC). The NRC offers secure facilities and the ability to
provide an arms length, science based validation of both the process and the results.
Normal operating procedure for projects undertaken by ISIC is to engage a private sector partner
at the outset and you will note the absence of that standard arrangement in this proposal. It was
felt that the magnitude and possible global consequences of this project required a more involved
and detailed due diligence process with regards to potential corporate partners. A process that
we felt would require more time than the 6 months allotted for this phase. As such this proposal
asks the province to provide $116,400 for the purposes of conducting all research and
experimentation outlined for Phase II. We further suggest that at the conclusion of Phase II, Ms.
Cundliffe, ISIC and the Province determine what steps and possible partnerships will best enable
and ensure the timely development of a full scale working CO2 reaction chamber.
The innovative processes and breakthrough technology that has been designed by Ms. Cundliffe
have the potential to change the world. It is not about storing unaltered CO2 emissions where a
fault in the underground sequestering system could have catastrophic consequences. Nor is it
about the continued release of harmful emissions into our atmosphere. Her process is
standalone, operates at the source of greenhouse gas emissions and in place of storing or
releasing, simply reforms the CO2 into its’ original elements of carbon and oxygen. The carbon
could be put back into the furnace it was recovered from or sold to industry as a pure and
premium carbon product. In turn the oxygen could be released into the atmosphere or used for
commercial purposes as well. This process could achieve a new form of carbon management that
exceeds currently understood “carbon neutral” standards.
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Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

Initial proof of concept experiments are more than simply promising and the case for CO2
reforming has become compelling and needs to move forward through a verification process.
The requested funding for Phase II will in essence validate this previous work, expand the proof
of concept knowledge base and provide for a due diligence process designed to authenticate the
science on a milestone based approach. Upon completion all parties to the project will be able to
make an informed decision on appropriate next steps, based on confirmed scientific evidence.

5

Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

The Need
The need has been well established and little has to be restated about the overwhelming scientific
evidence that is now available in support of global concerns on greenhouse warming. The
consequences of delay or inactivity in working towards solutions are obvious and while many are
quick and comfortable with simply pointing to our past environmental errors, what we really
need are more minds focused on innovative industrial solutions.
This proposal begins the solutions process and while our CO2 initiative will likely solve the most
significant emissions issue we face, it is only the beginning. Hopefully it is just one of many
combined and layered solutions that ultimately return us to an environmentally sound and
sustainable lifestyle.
We recognize that currently there is no efficient replacement for our dependency on fossil fuels
as an energy source. Alternative sources of energy are under development and hold much
promise but there is more work to be done. Thus, while acknowledging our continued short-term
reliance on traditional sources of energy, we must also concede that it will come with a financial
and environmental cost that will rapidly escalate. This accelerated cost may quickly become a
burden that few countries can afford and so the need to eliminate carbon dioxide from our
emissions intensifies. Removing CO2 from our industrial and energy emissions cycle while
allowing for the use of carbon based fuels would therefore have a profound effect on the global
economy and environment and would solve some immediate needs including:







The elimination of industrial CO2 emissions
The need for more time to find alternate energy sources
The ability to convert fossil fuels into green fuels
The need to access inexpensive fuel reserves
The ability to sustain industrial capacity
The need to stabilize and then reverse harmful environmental processes

In the past we buried our toxic wastes. Initially the oceans were a convenient dumping ground.
Later we found underground storage an attractive alternative but in both cases our strategy of
hiding our poisons has come back to haunt us. Huge cleanup costs, sterile habitat and at times
even human life have been some of the costs associated with this approach to managing our
industrial waste products. Storage seems to intensify the problem with disposal costs carried by
the current generation and cleanup expenses by the next. Pay twice and never solve the problem
is a solution of delay and points to the real need which is reforming the toxin into its’ elemental
and harmless components. If you can reform you can reuse and in the case of CO2 you actually
recycle oxygen and solid carbon. Nothing is buried, no harmful gases emitted and no problems
passed to next generations.

6

Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

The Process
The process began several months ago with the construction of the first prototype reforming
chambers. Numerous experiments followed and the concept of reforming CO2 was successfully
demonstrated.
Preliminary testing would appear to corroborate these early results and the scientific advisory
team from Thompson Rivers University has suggested the project be upgraded and authenticated
through a rigorous verification process. To that end a Phase II validation process has been
recommended and will include:
1. Construction of a new reaction chamber capable of real-time monitoring and
recording of the reform process. The chamber will be capable of operating at up
to 100 psi for several hours at a time and will be equipped with a combination of
10 data and gas ports allowing for continuous flow and data monitoring.
2. Testing of various theoretical combinations of reform processes to determine
which produce the highest quantity and quality of reformed elements. The three
variable conditions will be time, pressure and temperature.
3. Testing of various theoretical combinations of reform processes to determine
which methods are best suited for continuous reaction chamber operation. Using
the results obtained in the previous process we will then determine optimal
operating parameters for maximizing carbon collection and oxygen removal
rates.
4. Testing of various theoretical combinations of reform processes to determine the
amount of recovered carbon. The amounts of carbon will be weighed and
recorded in terms of production times. At this stage the major focus will be on
producing amorphous carbon although other types of carbon formation will be
attempted.
5. Testing of various theoretical combinations of reform processes to determine the
amount of recovered oxygen. Oxygen production can be directly related to the
amount of carbon produced but if necessary the reaction chamber can be
modified to include oxygen capture.
6. Testing of various theoretical combinations of reform processes to determine the
amount of other possible gases, metals or other recoverable elements.
7. To verify all forms of carbon resulting from the reforming processes through a
minimum of three accepted forms of scientific measurement. (Electron Scanning
Microscope, Mass Spectrometer and Carbon Sampling and assay)
8. To establish the basic energy requirements and chemical balances of the reaction
chamber as they relate to the scale and materials being used in Phase II.
7

Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

Project Team Members
As project leader ISIC is fortunate to have a highly experienced group of professionals involved
in the development of this CO2 Reforming project. All team members are qualified specialists
with project specific experience, industry and academic connections and a comprehensive
understanding of the issues and science surrounding the project. In addition they all share an
awareness and acknowledge the vital importance of applying collaborative solutions that utilize
the specialize knowledge that each brings to the team.

Viva Cundliffe – Chief Scientist & Project Innovator. B. Sc
Returning to university as a mature student, Viva graduated in 2006
with a B.Sc. degree in Environmental Engineering and her focus
became one of reducing or eliminating CO2 emission at the industrial
use level. This was a course of environmental studies and scientific
research that reflected Viva’s desire to find new ways to ensure that
BC’s resource rich rural communities continued to prosper while
minimizing the environmental impact of that prosperity.

Bill McQuarrie – Project Manager & Executive Director ISIC
A senior executive with demonstrated skills in facilitating cooperative
solutions to complex problems, Bill manages a project portfolio
valued in the millions. With his seasoned perspective, management
style and an entrepreneurial background including ownership of
several companies, he has developed a respected reputation for his
abilities to complete projects on time and on budget.

8

Interior Science Innovation Council

CONFIDENTIAL

David Beardsell – Project Leader
Trained in chemistry, physics and microbiology, David has
successfully merged his academic background with a solid
understanding for business development. Well respected within the
business, venture capital and academic communities, he has a well
established track record of building and managing his own company
and assisting new business ventures through the startup stage.

Sharon Brewer – Project Science Advisor: B. Sc Chemistry, M. Sc
Chemistry, PhD Chemistry, Assistant Professor of Chemistry,
Thompson Rivers University
Research & Teaching Interest
Analytical and Environmental Chemistry: Analytical method
development; Water quality monitoring; Supercritical fluid extraction;
Solid phase micro extraction; Disinfection Byproducts, Integrated
Laboratory Network Development.

Bruno Cinel – Project Science Advisor, B. Sc. Biochemistry, PhD,
Organic Chemistry, Assistant Professor of chemistry, Thompson
Rivers University
Research & Teaching Interest
Organic Chemistry: Natural products chemistry involving the
isolation, structure elucidation, and chemical ecology of compounds
from terrestrial and marine organisms. Remote instrumentation and
on-line science education.

9


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