Thailand-based integrated engineering firm Toyo-Thai Corp., or TTCL, has launched the first commercial-scale application in the U.S. of a new carbon-capture technology for industrial emissions.

TTCL broke ground on Sept. 30 on the $120-million SkyMine project in San Antonio. The plant will use an electrolytic system, developed by Skyonic Corp., to collect CO2, acid gases and heavy metals from emissions and mineralize them into stable solids.

TTCL is expanding the Capitol SkyMine facility to collect flue gasses from the nearby Capitol Aggregates cement plant and convert them into "green chemicals," such as hydrochloric acid, bleach, chlorine and hydrogen, which can be transported and sold to offset emissions-capture costs.

Skyonic Corp. CEO Joe Jones says SkyMine can operate at a profit because its by-products are marketable, including carbonates and bicarbonates used in bio-algae applications. "Capitol SkyMine will mark the first time carbon-negative chemistry has reached the commercial stage," Jones says. "This means that emissions problems can become emissions profits."

TTCL is working at SkyMine on an EPC services contract, its first large-scale contract in the U.S. "This is our first entry into North America as a full EPC provider," says TTCL President and CEO Hironobu Iriya. "We chose this project because it is neutralization with a positive by-product. There are already off-take contracts in place to sell those by-products on the market."

TTCL will base its U.S. operations in Denver and operate here as TTUS, co-located with Industrial Cooling Solutions, which installs cooling-tower systems for industry.

TTCL is also one of the first firms to have made significant inroads into Myanmar, contracting with the country's Minister of Electric Power in August 2012 to develop a 100-MW powerplant near Yangon.