A feasibility study is to be undertaken by Phoenix BioPower to investigate just how the latest energy efficient turbine technology could reduce the build costs of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) plants.

Working with renewable energy company, Drax Group, Phoenix BioPower intend to examine the cost effectiveness of new-build BECCS projects and how energy-efficient gas turbines could reduce this build cost by generating 50% more power with the same amount of fuel, when powering a 300MWe biomass plant with integrated CCS.

The top cycle turbines are proven to be up to 15% more efficient than existing technologies used in power stations when used with BECCS. This could lead to directly supporting other renewable, decarbonising technologies and energy systems globally.

Speaking about the agreement and the potential for negative emissions technologies, Henrik Båge, CEO of Phoenix BioPower said, “Working alongside Drax, a global leader in sustainable biomass power generation and BECCS, gives us an exciting opportunity to explore the next generation of negative emissions technologies together with our high-efficiency biopower technology.”

“We look forward to working with the world-class engineers at Drax on this study to further develop these essential technologies.”

Traditional steam cycle technologies use high-pressure steam to generate power from the turbine. This biomass-fired top cycle turbines integrate pressurised biomass gas into the turbine instead of steam, almost doubling the electrical efficiency.

The study will be based on results from Phoenix’s test facilities in Sweden and Germany. It will also investigate how other renewable technologies such as hydrogen combustion and production can be utilised and integrated with the biomass-fired top cycle gas turbines.

Jason Shipstone, Drax Group Chief Innovation Officer, said, “Negative emissions technologies such as BECCS will play a crucical role in the global fight against climate change and at Drax we’re planning to install this technology at our existing power station in the UK.”

“This partnership with Phoenix BioPower is one of a number of options we’re investigating as part of our long-term innovation programme, which will enable Drax to understand the potential of future technological advances, so we can continue to innovate, develop and grow as a business.”

As Europe’s largest decarbonisation project after converting its North Yorkshire coal-fired power station to use sustainable biomass, Drax intend to become a carbon negative company by 2030.