Europe’s first bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) project has been boosted by a £5m ($6.4m) grant from the UK Government.

The funding has been secured by University of Leeds spin out C-Capture, the company behind the innovative technology, for a two-year programme of work to progress the project at Drax’s power station in North Yorkshire.

The demonstration plant is already capturing a tonne of CO2 a day as part of a six-month pilot.

The CO2 is captured from the combustion of 100% biomass feedstock at the power station – a first anywhere in the world.

Drax BECCS pilot now capturing CO2

C-Capture and Drax said the funding would be used to further develop their understanding of how the technology could be scaled up to become the world’s first negative emissions power station in the 2020s – effectively removing the greenhouse gas CO2 from atmosphere at the same time as electricity is being produced.

If the technology can be successfully scaled up, the two companies could capture and store up to 16 million tonnes of CO2 each year.

The work being undertaken over the next two years includes:

  • An extension of C-Capture’s existing pilot facilities at Drax Power Station
  • Plant performance optimisation trials
  • A chemistry validation and testing programme with world-class research partners SINTEF and the CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad in Norway
  • Process design development to move towards commercial scale deployment, including repurposing the existing Drax infrastructure for BECCS

Screenshot 2019-06-27 at 10.00.59

Source: Drax

Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said, “If we scale C-Capture’s BECCS technology up at Drax across all four of our biomass generating units, the impacts will be far reaching.”

“As the world’s first negative emissions power station, Drax could become the ‘anchor’ for a CCS network in the Humber region, capturing carbon from other nearby industrial emitters as well as our own CO2.”

“C-Capture’s technology could enable us to not only make a real impact on reducing our own carbon emissions, but also to deliver clean growth and jobs across the north, as well as new export opportunities for the UK making this project of major significance globally.”

The funding has been awarded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through its Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Innovation Programme.

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Chris Skidmore, said, “Cutting edge technology to capture carbon will cut emissions as we work towards a net zero economy while creating new jobs – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

“This innovative project from C-Capture and Drax represents a major milestone in efforts to rollout carbon capture at scale by the 2030s.”