UK biomass firm pioneers potential world first carbon capture system

Yorkshire-based biomass company Drax has implemented a bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) demonstration facility that captures CO2 from wood-burning, in what is claimed to be a world first.

The £400,000 pilot at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire is using innovative technology by C-Capture – a spin-off company from the University of Leeds – to capture a tonne of CO2 a day from the gases produced when power is generated using biomass.

Data from the process will be analysed throughout the pilot to fully understand the potential of the technology and how it could be scaled up, including identifying and developing ways to store and use the CO2 that is being captured.

The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering have estimated BECCS could help capture around 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050 – approximately half the UK’s emissions target.

Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax group said: “Providing that this innovative carbon capture technology works is an exciting development and another important milestone in our BECCS project. Climate change affects us all so this is of real significance – not just for us at Drax but also for the UK and the rest of the world.

“The successful deployment of BECCS requires us to identify ways in which the carbon dioxide we’re now capturing can be stored or used in other processes and we’re working with the government and other businesses on that. We’re focused on working together to make the progress required for us to tackle climate change and enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future.”

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry welcomed the news: “This innovative technology has the potential to make huge strides in our efforts to tackle climate change while kick-starting an entirely new cutting-edge industry in the UK. World-firsts like this will help us to realise our ambition of having a first operational plant by the mid-2020s as we continue to seize the opportunities of moving to a greener, cleaner economy – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.

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