Transcript: Climate Watch Shorts: The carbon capitalists | Apr 06, 2017

(music plays)

A black spinning globe appears next to the caption "TVO Climate Change Shorts."

A caption reads "Nam Kiwanuka. Climate Watch Shorts host."

Nam has curly brown hair and wears glasses, a gray parka and a turtle neck black and white marled sweater.

Nam says WELCOME TO CLIMATE
WATCH SHORTS
WHERE WE EXAMINE
THE LOCAL IMPACT
OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
THE AMERICAN
XPRIZE FOUNDATION
IS TAKING AN
INNOVATIVE APPROACH
TO DECREASING
CARBON LEVELS
BY RUNNING A
COMPETITION FOR IDEAS
ON HOW TO TURN INDUSTRIAL
CO2 EMISSIONS
INTO SALEABLE
MATERIALS.
WE TAKE A LOOK AT
THE POTENTIAL
OF TURNING POLLUTION
INTO PRODUCTS.

(music plays)

Clips show how cement is manufactured and used in construction.

A title reads "The Carbon Capitalists. Finding profits in pollution."

A caption reads "Steve Martin. CEO, Pond Technologies."

Steve is in his fifties, with short wavy white hair and a goatee. He wears glasses, a white T-shirt and a blue jacket.

Steve says CEMENT IS
THE SINGLE MOST USED
HUMAN MANUFACTURED
PRODUCT.
A TONNE OF CEMENT
MAKES ABOUT
A TONNE OF
CARBON DIOXIDE.
CEMENT CAN THEN
BE USED TO DO
ALL THE THINGS
WE DO WITH IT:
BUILD OUR BUILDINGS,
BUILD DAMS, BUILD ROADS.
WE USED TO SEE THE
BIG SMOKESTACKS
AND YOU'D THINK,
THAT'S JUST AWFUL.
LOOK AT ALL
THAT POLLUTION.
NOW I LOOK AND SAY, LOOK
AT ALL THAT OPPORTUNITY.
I WAS READING AN ARTICLE IN
THE WASHINGTON POST ONE DAY,
AND I FOUND THAT YOU CAN
MAKE OIL FROM ALGAE.
BOUGHT SOME ALGAE AND
LITERALLY STARTED GROWING IT
IN COFFEE CUPS IN
SINKS A DAY LATER.
I THINK MY FAMILY KNEW THAT
I WAS CRAZY AT THAT POINT,
IT WAS CONFIRMATION OF WHAT
THEY ALREADY BELIEVED.
ALGAE IS NOT A PLANT;
IT'S NOT AN ANIMAL;
IT'S A SINGLE CELL.
ALGAE IS JUST ITSELF
AND ALL IT DOES
IS MAKE COPIES
OF ITSELF.
SO WHAT THAT GIVES IS
A VERY GOOD ADVANTAGE.
IT CAN GROW FASTER.

Clips show microscopic images of algae cells reproduction.

The caption changes to "Emidio Di Pietro. Pond Technologies."

Emidio is in his late forties, with receding wavy black hair and a graying beard. He wears glasses, a white T-shirt, jeans and a blue V-neck sweater.

He says WE LEARNED THAT IN GRADE
7 OR GRADE 8 BIOLOGY
THAT ALGAE LIKES CO2.
BUT WE'RE NOT IN
GRADE 7 ANYMORE.
WE'RE NOW ADULTS WITH
A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
ENGINEERS ARE THE OOMPA
LOOMPAS OF THE WORLD.
WHO MAKES THE
CHOCOLATE?
WELL, IT'S THE
OOMPA LOOMPAS.
SAME WITH US, WE'RE
THE OOMPA LOOMPAS
THAT ARE CAPTURING CARBON
AND PRODUCING ALGAE.
WE'RE PRODUCING
BIOMASS.
WE'RE SOLVING A PROBLEM
THAT'S REALLY BIG.
AND IT'S JUST GETTING
BIGGER EVERY DAY.
WITH THE XPRIZE IT'S
GIVING US AN OPPORTUNITY
TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.
AND SAY, HEY, LET'S
DO THIS CONTEST.
LET'S SEE HOW MUCH CARBON CAN
WE CAPTURE IN THIS PROCESS.
LET'S SEE HOW BIG
WE CAN ACTUALLY
MAKE THIS SYSTEM
WORLDWIDE.

The caption changes to "Stephen O’Leary. National Research Council Canada."

Stephen is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short receding brown hair. He wears glasses, black trousers and a pale blue shirt.

He says THE DRIVE TEN YEARS
AGO WAS TO PRODUCE
RENEWABLE FUELS
FROM BIOMASS,
WITH ALGAE BEING A VERY
ATTRACTIVE BIOMASS.
WHAT BECAME CLEAR TO US
WAS IN ORDER TO PRODUCE
FUEL FROM ALGAE YOU NEEDED
TO GROW A LOT OF ALGAE.
AND TO GROW A
LOT OF ALGAE,
YOU NEEDED TO CONVERT A
LOT OF CARBON DIOXIDE.
AND AS FUNNY AS IT SOUNDS,
THERE'S JUST NOT ENOUGH
CARBON DIOXIDE IN
THE AIR TO DO THAT.
YOU FIND THEM AT PLACES WHERE
YOU HAVE LARGE, CONCENTRATED
EMISSIONS OF CARBON
DIOXIDE FROM A POINT SOURCE.
AND THAT HAPPENS TO BE
SITES OF HEAVY INDUSTRY.

(music plays)

The caption changes to "Saint Mary’s, Ontario."

Steve says BEHIND US IS
THE SAINT MARY’S CEMENT PLANT.
AND THE EMISSIONS ARE ABOUT
HALF A MILLION TONNES
OF CO2 PER YEAR.
THEY'VE SEEN THE VALUE IN
THE TECHNOLOGY VERY EARLY.
THIS IS THE PIPE THAT
BRINGS THE STACK GAS
FROM THE SMOKESTACK.
THE PIPE GOES ALL THE
WAY ALONG THE BUILDING,
DOWN THE SIDE, ALONG HERE
AND RIGHT BESIDE US HERE,
AND EVENTUALLY
INTO THE BUILDING
WHERE WE GROW
ALGAE ON IT.
THE XPRIZE FOUNDATION HAS DONE
SO MANY REMARKABLE THINGS.
THE CARBON XPRIZE THAT
WE'RE A PARTICIPANT IN
AND NOW A SEMI-FINALIST
IS A REALLY TERRIFIC WAY
TO JUMPSTART THE DISCUSSION
AROUND SENSIBLE,
REASONABLE WAYS TO
DO CARBON ABATEMENT.

Stephen says IT SAYS, LOOK, LET'S FIND A
WAY TO MAKE ECONOMIC VALUE
OUT OF WHAT'S VIEWED AS
A WASTE PRODUCT TODAY.
THEN IT'S GIVEN US A
COMMON AND FRAMEWORK
AND VENUE TO TEST THOSE
SOLUTIONS AGAINST EACH OTHER
TO SEE WHICH ARE
MOST SCALABLE.

Steve says THESE ARE THE
LIGHT ENGINES THAT SIT
INSIDE THE BIOREACTOR AND ALLOW
US TO INDUSTRIALIZE ALGAE.
WE GIVE IT SUNLIGHT
THAT IT WANTS;
WE GIVE IT THE
WAVELENGTHS OF LIGHT
THAT ALLOW THE ALGAE TO
GROW VERY EFFECTIVELY.
AND YOU END UP WITH
SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

On a table sits a jar that with a label that reads "Dry Flakes."

Steve says FROM WHICH YOU CAN
DERIVE ALGAE OIL.

Stephen says IT CAN BE
CONVERTED TO FUEL,
LIQUID FUEL
FROM THE OIL.
WE'VE ALSO INCORPORATED
IT INTO BIOPLASTICS.

Steve says THERE ARE, TO
MY UNDERSTANDING, MORE THAN
3,500 LARGE FINAL EMITTERS
IN NORTH AMERICA,
EACH PUTTING OUT MORE THAN
100,000 TONNES OF CO2 A YEAR.
ALL OF THOSE ARE OPPORTUNITIES
TO DEPLOY THIS TECHNOLOGY
EMPLOY PEOPLE LOCALLY;
THEY'RE JOBS THAT
CAN'T BE OFFSHORED.
IT'S FANTASTIC FOR
EVERYBODY ACROSS THE BOARD.

(music plays)

A caption reads "tvo.org/climatewatch."

Watch: Climate Watch Shorts: The carbon capitalists