UK energy company Drax is advancing the scope of its pioneering carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology through a trial that is part of the company’s bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) innovation programme.

Revealed yesterday (May 10th), Drax will work with the University of Nottingham and nanomaterials specialist Promethean Particles to trial a process that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). 

Typically using amine-based liquid solvents, MOFs are a type of solid sorbent that can capture CO2 emitted when sustainable biomass is used to generate electricity. 

Having been labelled as ‘vital’ to achieving climate targets by leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC and UK Climate Change Committee, BECCS could also save the UK £13bn in achieving the government’s fifth Carbon Budget, according to analysis expert Baringa. 

Source: Drax

“Negative emissions technologies like BECCS will play a vital role in the fight against the climate crisis, so it’s crucial we continue to innovate and develop new technologies that will support their future deployment,” commented Jason Shipstone, Chief Innovation Officer, Drax. 

Taking place at Drax’s BECCS incubation hub at its North Yorkshire Power Station, the two month trial aims to help all partners study the realistic potential of MOF-based BECCS to perform well on large-scale projects. 

Calling it a ‘fantastic opportunity’ to showcase the industrial capabilities of solid adsorbents, Professor Ed Lester, Project Lead, University of Nottingham, added, “We know that this project is gathering a lot of interest across many industrial sectors that currently generate large amounts of CO2.” 

With work due to get underway by 2024, the first BECCS unit could be operational in 2027, further enabling Drax to meet its 2030 carbon negative commitments.