BOC has revealed it is to build its first UK carbon dioxide (CO2) purification plant, following the signing of an agreement with leading food company Cargill for the provision of raw CO2 feedstock.

The plant will be built on Cargill’s Trafford Park site in Greater Manchester and will capture and purify waste CO2 and convert it into food and beverage grade liquid CO2.

The waste CO2 is a by-product of Cargill’s wheat fermentation process, which produces potable alcohol for consumer products such as perfumes, mouthwash and beverages.

The facility will include 1,200 tonnes of bulk liquid storage, enabling better stock management during plant maintenance periods and shortages in the wider supply network.

Julie Elders, BOC Product Manager Bulk CO2 & Hydrogen, commented, “The majority of the UK’s CO2 feedstock comes from ageing and increasingly unreliable ammonia plant. This means frequent product shortages, with alternative supplies having to be brought by road tanker from mainland Europe, adding cost and complexity to the supply chain.”

“Our investment in this purification plant will strengthen and grow the UK supply network for this essential product.”

The food and beverage business is one of the most important end-user sectors for industrial gases in the UK, according to gasworld Business Intelligence, accounting for as much as 20% of gas sales in 2014.

Along with the metallurgy and manufacturing industries, the UK food and beverages business is expected to show further upside going forward, contributing to growth of between 1.2% - 2.9% per annum in the UK gases business through to 2020.