Rockburst Technologies

Rockburst is a mining startup developing a new comminution (the crushing and grinding of ore) technology called Transcritical CO2 Pulverization, which has the potential to slash 2% of the world’s electricity consumption and associated GHG emissions.

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Rockburst Technologies

Rockburst Technologies is a Foresight 50 2023 Honouree

On track to slash 2% of the world’s electricity consumption. By breaking rock with CO2.

Rockburst Technologies Inc. is a mining innovation startup developing a new comminution (particle reduction) technology that uses supercritical CO2 to exert tensile breakage in ore and other materials. We call this technology Transcritical CO2 (tCO2) Pulverization. 

This new way of breaking ore and liberating valuable minerals has the potential to reduce both direct and indirect energy (no grinding media required) and GHG emissions by at least 50 per cent compared to incumbent technologies. The process derives its savings from taking advantage of the lower tensile strength of rock, which is 10 times weaker in tension than compression. 

Given that comminution in mining consumes 4 per cent of the world’s electricity, Rockburst is on a mission to halve this energy utilization and its associated GHG emissions. We have estimated a conservative market opportunity of USD $3 billionB annually as demand for critical minerals is set to increase due to electrification and overall decarbonization efforts towards 2050. 

Moreover, we have estimated that, with a market penetration of 20 per cent, we have the potential of taking out up to half a gigatonne of CO2e annually from the atmosphere. This is because our technology uses re-captured CO2 in a closed-loop system as its working fluid, while simultaneously sequestering CO2 in the comminuted product rock through mineralization and molecular trapping. Additional benefits include the option to run an efficient waterless comminution process, which is increasingly important in many regions of the world where mining occurs.

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Why our venture should be considered one of Canada’s 50 most investable cleantech companies:

Our company is developing one of the few emerging technologies in the mining industry that hits three of the most strategic aspects of decarbonization in the industry: 

  • Significant energy savings at the heart of the one process in mining that consumes close to half the energy in a mine (and up to 4 per cent of the global electricity), 

  • Carbon usage and sequestration in one process and the ability to use waste gas to power our process, making it possible to create virtuous GHG emission reduction loops (using CO2 flue gas from other industrial processes like cement manufacturing or even CO2 captured directly from air to power our process), and,
  • tCO2 is a waterless technology, a unique aspect of our technology that is a top of mind consideration for a large number of mines around the world.