An innovative bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot plant has been commissioned at Drax power station in the UK, with the first CO2 expected to be captured in the coming weeks. If successful, the six-month pilot project will capture a metric ton of CO2 daily when renewable energy from biomass is generated.
Drax has partnered with UK firm C-Capture, and is investing £400,000 in what could be the first of several pilot projects undertaken at the power station to deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS. If the BECCS pilot plant is successful, Drax will examine options for a similar re-purposing of existing infrastructure to deliver more carbon savings. The Royal Academy and Royal Society of Engineers estimated that BECCS could enable the UK to capture 50 million metric tons of CO2 per year, approximately half the country’s emissions target.
Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group, said: “Our BECCS pilot project is the UK’s first step to delivering a key technology in the fight against climate change. If this project is successful, it could enable Drax to become the world’s first carbon negative power station, something many people would never have dreamed possible a decade ago. We want to create a low carbon future at Drax. To do that, we have to test the technologies that could allow us to deliver negative emissions and start to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
Work had been carried out over the summer to ensure that the solvent developed by C-Capture is compatible with the biomass flue gas a Drax power station.