Pond is teaming up with the National Research Council of Canada, the City of Markham and Markham District Energy for this X-Prize submission. Pond will design, manufacture, install and commission all equipment. The National Research Council (“NRC”) will provide algae strains, biological expertise and operations support. The City of Markham (the “City”) and Markham District Energy (“MDE”) own and operate 15 MWe of natural gas cogeneration plants, and will provide input on how this could work at a natural gas facility.
Pond has spent years developing the design, manufacture and operating protocols for an LED-illuminated photobioreactor. The photobioreactor is an enclosed tank containing a continuous algae bloom, where rapid algae growth converts industrial greenhouse gas emissions into algae biomass. The algae biomass is then used as feedstock for biofuels in an accelerated replication of natural carbon cycles.
Pond sparges industrial flue gas directly into large photobioreactors, whereupon the CO2 dissolves out of the sparging bubbles and into the aqueous growth medium. Industrial flue gas however, contains much more CO2 (5%-20% CO2 by mass) than the ambient air (400 ppm or 0.04% CO2). To make algae grow fast enough to fix that much CO2, Pond has designed the largest, most energy efficient LEDs in the world, along with a unique passive cooling system and an associated light distribution system. As these LEDs provide the illumination to initiate and maintain rapid growth, our custom harvest system harvests the algae as it grows, creating a continuous algae bloom.
Using our custom illumination, sparging and harvesting systems, we have achieved carbon sequestration rates of 4 grams of CO2 per litre of bioreactor capacity per day.
About Team Leader
Peter’s role at Pond is a combination of corporate strategy, development of strategic partnerships, market and product development, and government relations.
Previously, Peter worked as a management consultant, holding the position of Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ sustainable business practice, helping some of Canada’s leading companies (including Bombardier, Microsoft Canada, and Fairmont Hotels) develop their sustainability strategy. Peter also worked as a Senior Policy Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, where he helped develop Ontario’s greenhouse gas emission policies and programs.Peter received his Masters of Environmental Studies degree from York University (Sustainable Business and Environmental Economics), and a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and Contemporary Studies from the University of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Steven Martin, CEO & CTO
Emidio Di Pietro, VP Engineering
Peter Howard, VP Sustainability
Jaime Gonzales, Director, Projects
Tony Di Pietro, Director, Supply Chain
Tim Everett, Site Manager
Hilary Heard, Laboratory Technician
Punyama Jayasinghe, Chemical Engineer
Shailendra Joshi, Control and Automation Engineer
Natalia Garcia, Environmental Scientist
City of Markham
Graham Seaman, Director, Sustainability
Markham District Energy
Bruce Ander, P.Eng. President & CEO
Peter Ronson, P.Eng. Vice President
The National Research Council of CanadaStephen O’Leary, Director, NRC Algal Carbon Conversion Program