The first carbon dioxide is expected to be captured in the coming weeks. If successful, the six month pilot project will capture a tonne of CO2 a day from the gases produced when renewable power is generated using biomass at Drax – the UK’s biggest power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire.
Drax states that BECCS is vital to global efforts to combat climate change because the technology will mean the gases that cause global warning can be removed from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced. This means power generation would start to reduce the carbon accumulating in the atmosphere – vital for tackling climate change.
First of a series
Drax is partnering with Leeds-based C-Capture and is investing £400,000 in what could be the first of a series of pilot projects undertaken at the power station to deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS.
Drax Power Station became the largest decarbonisation project in Europe by upgrading two thirds of its generating units to use biomass instead of coal and, if the BECCS pilot is successful, it will examine options for a similar re-purposing of existing infrastructure to deliver more carbon savings.
CO2-negative power station
The Royal Academy and Royal Society of Engineers have estimated that BECCS could enable us to capture 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050 – approximately half the nation’s emissions target.
Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group, said: “If this project is successful, it could enable Drax to become the world’s first carbon negative power station – something many would never have dreamed possible a decade ago.”