Drax declares world-first carbon capture at biomass power plant

Article by Adam Duckett

THE UK’s DRAX power station has begun capturing carbon, and has described the development as the first time CO2 has been captured from the combustion of a 100% biomass feedstock.

The demonstration plant located at the Drax facility near Selby in North Yorkshire is capturing 1 t/d of CO2. It is using an amine-free solvent-based process called C-Capture, developed at the University of Leeds.

The company has invested £400,000 (US$514,000) on the capture plant, which was commissioned in November last year. The team had previously tested that the C-Capture solvent was compatible with the biomass flue gas at Drax and conducted a lab-scale test into reusing the plant’s flue-gas desulfurisation absorbers which were no longer required once it switched from burning coal.

Caspar Schoolderman, Director of Engineering at C-Capture, said: “Working at this scale is really where the engineering gets interesting. The challenge now is to get all the information we need to design and build a capture plant 10,000 times bigger. It’s only really when we get to those sorts of scales that we can start to have an impact on the climate.”

In September last year, a joint report from the Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society called for immediate action to deploy greenhouse gas removal technologies, including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to help mitigate climate change.

Article by Adam Duckett

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