The Dakota Gasification Plant near Beulah is now selling and shipping beverage-grade carbon dioxide liquid to water treatment plants in North Dakota.
Dakota Gas Marketing Account Manager Zach Jacobsen told Prairie Public that the addition of the urea plant at Dakota Gas made the higher-quality CO2 liquid capture possible. Jacobsen said to be "beverage-grade," the CO2 liquid has to be 99.98% pure.
Bismarck-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative, the plant's owner, was contacted by a couple of customers who wanted to use it for beverages, welding and water PH balancing. Water treatment plants this summer were reporting a shortage of CO2, according to Jacobsen.
"There was almost a state of emergency in North Dakota, because the usual sources for the CO2 -- ethanol plants -- were curtailed on production, because oil prices were not great, and the COVID-19 pandemic had a big effect on that," he said.
Basin heard from a number of state and local officials on the concerns about drinking water.
"We made our first sale June 30, and we supply over 80% of the needs of North Dakota water treatment plants," Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen added that there is a possibility down the road to sell the CO2 to soft drink plants.
"We tested for both Coke and Pepsi specs, which are some of the most stringent out there for CO2, and we met and exceeded both limits," Jacobsen said. "But we have more work to do before we can jump in."
Dakota Gasification is still supplying CO2 to Saskatchewan oil fields for enhanced oil recovery.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck is the plant's owner.
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