Drax is in discussions with the British Beer and Pub Association to see if it could help keep the fizz in the drinks industry as part of its efforts to ensure the CO2 captured during Europe’s first BECCS project is used in another process or industry.

The energy firm revealed earlier this month that it had captured the first CO2 from the combustion of 100% biomass feedstock at its power station in Selby, near North Yorkshire – a first anywhere in the world.

Drax BECCS pilot now capturing CO2

The CO2 has been captured using innovative technology developed by Leeds-based C-Capture as part of Europe’s first bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) project.

If successful, the BECCS project could also help to secure future access to CO2 for the UK’s breweries and pubs.

Last year’s European CO2 supply shortage sent shockwaves through food and beverage markets and the mainstream press alike, and the summer’s shortage of product left questions hanging over the supply chain, not least about the potential for alternative means of supply.

CO2 supply crisis hits Europe

Drax’s demonstration plant will capture a tonne of CO2 a day during the pilot - enough to produce the fizz for 32,000 pints of beer a day and equivalent to 5.7 million over the course of the six-month project.

The technology being trialled could be scaled up to capture even more CO2 at the power station. This could be a new source of CO2 in the UK to help ensure that a shortage doesn’t happen again.

Speaking exclusively to gasworld, a Drax spokesperson said, “After reading about the CO2 shortage and how this could potentially affect the beer industry, Drax approached the British Beer and Pub Association.”

“We hope that the BECCS project can secure future access to CO2 for the UK’s pubs and breweries; however, our project is very much at the pilot stage.”

“We last met with BBPA in November where we received the specifications for food-grade CO2. If our carbon capture pilot is successful, we’d then look to bring the carbon captured up to food grade specifications and hopefully we can progress the relationship further.”

CO2 Summit 2.0

CO2 sourcing reliability and alternatives, and CO2 applications and utilisation, will all be in focus in March 2019 at gasworld’s CO2 Summit 2.0 in Innsbruck, Austria. Find out more and register your interest today at www.gasworldconferences.com.