MOF capture firm secures £3.4m funding for UK CCS pilot

Article by Adam Duckett

NUADA, which is developing a MOF-based carbon capture process, has received £3.4m (US$4.3m) investment which it will use to fund a pilot plant in the UK.

The end-of-pipe process works by routing flue gas coming out of an industrial operation through a vacuum pressure swing adsorption unit that uses filters formed from metallic-organic frameworks (MOF) to strip out carbon dioxide. Once the filters are saturated, the CO2 is released using vacuum. During this regeneration stage, the flue gas is routed through a parallel filter-stage so that the process can operate continuously. The company describes the technology as “heatless and solvent-free” because unlike amine-based post-combustion schemes it doesn’t rely on the costly use of heat to release the captured CO2.

The company said its technology could cut energy demand by up to 80%. If achieved, it could help improve the uptake of CCS in hard to abate sectors including cement and steel manufacture, in which the chemical transformations required to form their products emit carbon dioxide.  

Nuada, which is based in Belfast, UK, and was previously called MOF Technologies, said it will begin operating a 1 t/d pilot plant at Buzzi Unicem’s Monselice cement plant in Italy later this year.

It plans a second pilot at an energy-from-waste plant in Northeast England but company CEO Conor Hamill said he could not disclose any further details on the scale or timescales involved. This will be funded using £3.4m from investment firm BGF.

Hamill said: “There is no net zero without carbon capture. However, incumbent solutions are notoriously costly and energy intensive. Investment from BGF will further catalyse the scale-up and deployment of our technology, ensuring we are primed to efficiently decarbonise heavy industries.”

In June, it launched a £1m R&D project funded through the UK government’s CCUS Innovation 2.0 programme to test its process at Sheffield University’s Translational Energy Research Centre. This, too, will show how successfully the technology can capture CO2 from waste-to-energy plants.

In its 2022 report on energy systems, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that capture costs are a key barrier to CCS, remaining higher than US$50/t for most technologies, with the energy required increasing fuel requirements for electricity generation by 13–44%. The panel has previously warned that climate targets will not be met without CCS.

Article by Adam Duckett

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