Drax captures carbon

The first carbon dioxide capture has been made at Drax Power Station in its bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot, with the project potentially enabling the first negative emissions power station.

The power station near Selby in North Yorkshire is using innovative technology, developed by Leeds-based C-Capture, to capture a tonne of CO2 a day, during the pilot, and is the first-time carbon dioxide has been captured from the combustion of a 100 per cent biomass feedstock anywhere in the world.

Drax Power Station became the largest decarbonisation project in Europe by upgrading two-thirds of its generating units to use biomass instead of coal. As part of the BECCS pilot, it will examine options for a similar re-purposing of existing infrastructure to deliver more carbon savings.

The Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering have estimated that BECCS could enable the capture of 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by 2050 – approximately half the nation’s emissions target.

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry, said: “This innovative technology has the potential to make huge strides in our efforts to tackle climate change while kick-starting an entirely new cutting-edge industry in the UK. World-firsts like this will help us to realise our ambition of having a first operational plant by the mid-2020s as we continue to seize the opportunities of moving to a greener, cleaner economy – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

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