Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, visited the incubation area at Drax power station (at Selby, north Yorkshire) and took the opportunity to learn more about C-Capture’s pioneering carbon capture technology which is being trialled in a partnership with Drax.
Leeds’ C-Capture has received significant funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as it has developed its unique technology, and were delighted to give the minister a tour of the facility, alongside the team at Drax.
C-Capture’s bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot plant has been capturing CO2 from the flue gas at Drax power station since February 2019. The data generated is helping our engineers and scientists to answer the questions which will need to be addressed as the technology is scaled up, paving the way for Drax to become the world’s first negative emissions power station.
Four of the six boilers at Drax burn biomass, making the power station the biggest renewable generator in the UK and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. If the CO2 can be captured and stored, this leads to net negative emissions, which will represent a significant contribution to the UK’s goal of becoming net zero by 2050.
Tom White, CEO of C-Capture, said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Minister Kwarteng and tell him about the exciting developments of the last year. We have demonstrated the compatibility of C-Capture’s unique solvent with the biomass derived flue gas at Drax, and the data generated shows how robust our technology is. The progress we have made, with continued support from BEIS, Drax and our other shareholders, is fantastic. With the climate crisis unfolding before us, the need for large scale deployment of CCS could not be more urgent and we are proud to be working with Drax and the UK Government in developing a solution”.
C-Capture, the designer of world-leading and innovative chemical processes for carbon dioxide removal, has appointed Tom White as its Chief Executive Officer.
Tom has a strong technical foundation in carbon capture and storage (CCS), and in his 20-year career to date has demonstrated an excellent track record in business growth and leadership in the energy sector. He joins C-Capture from BadrEOR, an oilfield services company based in Oman where he was CEO for three years. Prior to this he held senior management roles with engineering and project management firms; Parsons, AmecFosterWheeler, Jacobs and WorleyParsons in the UK and Middle East.
A former officer in the Corps of Royal Engineers, Tom also serves as Vice President Regions on the board of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, responsible for the governance of overseas entities and for representing its 20,000 non-UK members
C-Capture’s Chairman, Tristan Fischer, said: “Tom’s expertise in chemical engineering perfectly complements the development of C-Capture’s technology and the strength of Tom’s business development expertise will help in C-Capture’s rapid expansion.”
Tom White said: “I am incredibly excited to be joining C-Capture at this pivotal time; its award-winning CO2 capture solution is exactly what UK and global industry need to achieve cost-effective decarbonisation. C-Capture’s novel solvent technology is viable on a large scale and offers a safe, low-cost way to remove carbon dioxide from emissions sources such as power stations, cement and steel works.
“When coupled with sustainably sourced biofuels, C-Capture is able to achieve carbon-negative power, which is revolutionary. The time for large scale deployment of CCS is now and C-Capture’s solution represents a step change in performance to existing technologies”
Tristan Fischer added: “As C-Capture enters the next exciting phase of company growth and with the need for CCS at a large scale increasingly urgent with the climate crisis unfolding before us, we are delighted to have Tom join the C-Capture team.”
C-Capture’s pioneering carbon capture solution has won the Breakthrough of the Year Award at Business Green’s inaugural Technology Festival, held in London on December 5th. The Festival celebrated some of the UK’s most exciting green tech start-ups and companies.
C-Capture is the designer of world-leading and innovative chemical processes for carbon dioxide removal. It uses biodegradable chemical solvents to remove carbon dioxide, offering a safer and more cost-effective alternative to current technologies – for application in power generation and in heavy industry.
It is working with Drax Group to progress their bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project at Drax Power Station in north Yorkshire. The project, if scaled-up, would enable Drax Power Station to become the world’s first negative emissions power station in the 2020s.
C-Capture, based in Leeds, was formed in Professor Chris Rayner as a spin-out from Leeds University with funding from IP Group. IP Group and the University both remain shareholders in C-Capture, alongside Drax Group and BP Ventures.
Professor Chris Rayner said: “Winning the Business Green Award is fantastic, and rounds off an excellent year for us, in particular the progress we are making with our BECCS trial at Drax. The support of Drax and our other shareholders, as well as the grant support received from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is invaluable in moving our technology through to the scale required. 2020 is set to be another exciting year, as our work continues at Drax and with our R&D work scaling up with SINTEF in Norway.”
“We are developing a very strong case to justify deploying our carbon capture technology on large scale CO2 emissions sources, including power stations and a wide variety of industrial facilities. Carbon capture and storage will be hugely important to achieve Net Zero in the UK and around the world, as we work to combat climate change.”
Leading on Clean Growth The Government’s Response to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2019 Progress Report to Parliament – Reducing UK emissions – highlights our pilot BECCS plant at Drax power station. The challenge ahead is to scale up from this pilot to turn Drax into the first negative emissions power station & help the UK achieve the target of Net Zero by 2050!
C-Capture, the designer of world-leading and innovative chemical processes for carbon dioxide removal, is to work with Norway’s SINTEF on a new phase of its research and development programme.
C-Capture, which is working with Drax Group on a bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project at Drax Power Station, will be using the facilities at the Tiller facility, operated by SINTEF’s institute “SINTEF Industry”, to validate its technology and provide comparative analysis with alternative carbon capture technologies. The R&D work will start later this year.
SINTEF is one of Europe’s largest research institutes, with multidisciplinary specialist expertise in the fields of technology, natural and social sciences. SINTEF, with headquarters in Trondheim Norway, is an independent foundation focusing on innovation through development and research for industrial and public sectors, both in Norway and abroad.
Scientists at SINTEF will be working closely with C-Capture and Drax’s Innovation teams to carry out this work over the next six months. C-Capture will send equipment and solvent to Norway, and the Tiller facility will switch to burning biomass for the trials, in order for the Tiller facility to carry out a comparative analysis with C-Capture’s unique solvent. Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions and other aspects of solvent performance will also be monitored.
The contract to carry out the trial at SINTEF was signed at C-Capture’s facility in Leeds by Caspar Schoolderman, Chief Operating Officer and Project Lead at C-Capture, and Duncan Akporiaye, a Director in SINTEF.
Caspar Schoolderman said: “We’re delighted to be working with SINTEF, a world-renowned facility, towards an independent validation of our technology.”
SINTEF’s Duncan Akporiaye agreed: “The work that we will carry out at our facility at Tiller aims to provide independent validation for C-Capture and Drax’s work to date. The two companies have made great progress with their BECCS project. A large part of SINTEF’s R&D work over the next six months is to accelerate their work towards a full-scale BECCS.”
Jason Shipstone, Executive Vice President of Innovation at Drax Group, which is part funding the work with SINTEF, added: “This is another important step in the process to understand the potential for scaling up our successful BECCS pilot project, enabling Drax to become the world’s first negative emissions power station and the anchor for the UK’s first zero carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region.”
Ugochukwu Edwin Aronu, a SINTEF Scientist and Programme Manager for the project, said: “It is exciting working together with C-Capture and Drax at the Tiller facility on carbon capture from bioenergy processes to bring C-Capture’s carbon capture technology towards commercialisation. We look forward to sharing knowledge and expertise in this programme to advance this technology.”
The agreement follows the recent £5m grant awarded to C-Capture by the UK Government to further develop its understanding of how its technology could be scaled up at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, for it to become the world’s first negative emissions power station in the 2020s – effectively removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from atmosphere at the same time as electricity is being produced. The grant was awarded in June 2019.
C-Capture welcomes the Commons Science & Technology Committee report on Technologies and Clean Growth, and in particular their recommendation for clear action on carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS). If the UK is to meet its target of net zero by 2050, the relevant government policies and incentives must be in place to accelerate the deployment of CCUS on a scale to capture sufficiently large volumes of CO2 from point sources such as power stations and industrial facilities. The sharing of costs between government and industry and the identification of milestones, along with an expectation on the timeframe of delivery, are all important aspects which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency, and we look forward to the discussions about how this is best achieved.
C-Capture’s founder, Professor Chris Rayner, said: “The recognition of the need for negative emissions technologies, such as bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS), is especially welcome given our recent £5M scale-up project with Drax Group that is being funded by BEIS. Given the likely requirement for active removal of 150 million tonnes CO2 per annum by 2050 to achieve net-zero, there are few viable methods that have the potential to have an impact on that kind of scale at reasonable cost.”
“C-Capture are proud to be working alongside BEIS, Drax Group, IP Group and BP to develop our technology to make an important contribution to the decarbonisation of the UK economy. It is only with the appropriate regulations, policy and government support that industry and government will be able to come together to solve the challenges presented by climate change.”
An interview with Professor Chris Rayner, the founder of C-Capture, has been published in the August edition of Energy Industry Times. Chris talks to Junior Isles, the editor of EIT, about the science behind C-Capture’s work, its pilot project at Drax Power Station and the potential for the deployment of its carbon capture solution elsewhere in the power generation sector and within heavy industry.
C-Capture’s founder, Professor Chris Rayner, speaks to The Chemical Engineer about carbon capture and storage, the advantages of non-amine based carbon capture solvents, the important work C-Capture are doing in collaboration with Drax in working towards negative emissions, and the relative merits of carbon utilisation vs storage https://www.thechemicalengineer.com/features/capturing-co2-with-c-capture/
National Grid ESO have released their Future Energy Scenarios Report which outlines credible pathways for the future of energy – each scenario considers how much energy we might need and where it could come from.
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is necessary if we are to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. C-Capture’s pilot project at the UK’s largest power station is highlighted in the report as an important step in the wide scale deployment of BECCS.
C-Capture’s founder Chris Rayner said “C-Capture are delighted to see their pilot project featured in the report on Future Energy Scenarios by National Grid ESO. The importance of scalable negative emissions technologies, such as the BECCS work we are trialling at Drax, is recognised as being particularly valuable as an approach for offsetting very hard to decarbonise emissions, for example aviation. Such technologies are vital if we are to achieve the net zero target by 2050. All of us at C-Capture are proud to be playing a crucial role in addressing the current climate emergency.”
C-Capture, the designer of world-leading and innovative chemical processes for carbon dioxide removal, and working alongside the Drax Group, has secured a £5m grant from the UK Government for a two year programme of work to progress their bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project at Drax Power Station.
The funding will be used by Leeds-based C-Capture and Drax’s Innovation team to further develop its understanding of how C-Capture’s technology could be scaled up at Drax in North Yorkshire, to become the world’s first negative emissions power station in the 2020s – effectively removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from atmosphere at the same time as electricity is being produced. The company, which was established out of Leeds University’s School of Chemistry, has been working with Drax Group on its successful BECCS project, which started capturing carbon dioxide from February, proving the technology works.
The work being undertaken over the next two years includes:
An extension of C-Capture’s existing pilot facilities at Drax Power Station.
Plant performance optimisation trials
A chemistry validation and testing programme with world-class research partners SINTEF and the CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad, in Norway.
Process design development to move towards commercial scale deployment, including re-purposing the existing Drax infrastructure for BECCS.
This award represents a vote of confidence in the scheme and will give C-Capture and Drax Group a clearer understanding of how the technology could be scaled up in the 2020s, enabling Drax Power Station to capture and store up to 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
The funding has been awarded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through its Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Innovation Programme.
Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Chris Skidmore, said: “Cutting edge technology to capture carbon will cut emissions as we work towards a net zero economy while creating new jobs – a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy. This innovative project from C-Capture and Drax represents a major milestone in efforts to rollout carbon capture at scale by the 2030s.”
Caspar Schoolderman, COO and Project Lead at C-Capture said: “The on-going support from BEIS and our shareholders – BP, Drax and IP Group – has allowed C-Capture to build a team with unique skills and capabilities. The technology that we have developed is a game changer for carbon capture. Drax Group’s expertise in re-purposing existing infrastructure and C-Capture’s novel CCUS solution could allow the cost-effective deployment of BECCS for the first time on an industrial scale anywhere in the world.”
Aimed at supporting projects which can help deliver cost effective carbon capture initiatives which could then be used in industrial applications, the BEIS funding will help the UK to lead the world in developing CCUS technologies.
Will Gardiner, Drax Group CEO, said: “If we scale C-Capture’s BECCS technology up at Drax across all four of our biomass generating units, the impacts will be far reaching. As the world’s first negative emissions power station, Drax could become the ‘anchor’ for a CCS network in the Humber region, capturing carbon from other nearby industrial emitters as well as our own CO2. C-Capture’s technology could enable us to not only make a real impact on reducing our own carbon emissions, but also to deliver clean growth and jobs across the north, as well as new export opportunities for the UK making this project of major significance globally.”
If Drax’s BECCS pilot can be scaled up to deliver negative emissions, Drax Power Station would be helping to remove gases that cause global warming from the atmosphere at the same time as electricity is produced. Drax Power Station is already the largest decarbonisation project in Europe having converted two thirds of its generating units to use biomass instead of coal.