C-Capture News

The Times – Carbon plan captures big companies’ imaginations

The Times

By Emily Gosden

4 February 2019


A company founded by a chemistry professor has secured investment from both BP and Drax to develop its novel technology for capturing carbon emissions.

C-Capture, which was spun out of the University of Leeds in 2009, said that it had raised £3.5 million in an equity funding round led by the oil major, the power plant owner and IP Group, the technology commercialisation company.

It said that it would use the cash to further develop its method for removing carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and industrial facilities and to conduct more trials.

Carbon capture and storage has long been touted as a key innovation that could help to tackle climate change. It involves capturing emissions of carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas that causes global warming, and disposing of them in permanent storage such as disused gasfields. High costs have stymied its deployment.

C-Capture promises that its technology could make the process “significantly more economic” by using solvents first developed at Leeds by Chris Rayner, 55, the company’s co-founder.

Companies that produce fossil fuels, such as BP, have a particular interest in carbon capture since it could legitimise the continued usage of their products. The company is expected tomorrow to report underlying annual profits of almost $12 billion, primarily from producing and selling oil and gas. While its investment in C-Capture is tiny by comparison, it is one of a string of investments that BP is making via its Ventures division to explore new and greener technologies.

C-Capture’s technology is already being used in a small-scale trial at Drax’s power plant in North Yorkshire. Drax argues that burning sustainable biomass wood chips could produce “negative emissions” if carbon capture is used.

C-Capture’s solvent is fitted into an emissions flue and reacts to absorb the carbon dioxide from the gas passing through it. Then the solvent can be removed and heated up, releasing the carbon dioxide so that it can be compressed for storage. The solvent can be re-used. C-Capture said that this was safer and less expensive than existing technologies, which use chemicals derived from ammonia.

C-Capture has received more than £2 million in UK government funding.


C-Capture raises £3.5m in funding round led by BP, Drax and IP Group

C-Capture, the designer of world-leading chemical processes for carbon dioxide removal, has raised £3.5m in new equity funding in a round led by BP Ventures, Drax, and IP Group. The funding strongly underlines the credibility of C-Capture’s technology as the company positions itself to help mitigate climate change by providing systems that remove carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and cement, steel and aluminium facilities.

C-Capture is currently conducting a demonstration project at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, which will remove carbon dioxide from emissions produced by generating electricity from sustainable biomass. The project, which is the first of its kind in Europe, is highly significant because it has the capacity to produce negative emissions, whereby carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored.

C-Capture will use the new funding to further develop the technology, support larger pilot projects in other industries, and increase marketing globally. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is widely-regarded as an essential component of strategies to combat climate change – both by removing carbon dioxide from processes that use fossil fuels and producing negative carbon dioxide emissions from power generation that uses biomass. The UK government is committed to developing and deploying CCS technology to cut emissions.

Tristan Fischer, chairman of C-Capture, said: “We’re delighted that Drax, IP Group and now BP have all seen that our unique technology has the potential to be applied at scale around the world as part of the global drive to tackle climate change. We’re all very excited about the pilot project with Drax, and also that this new funding will help to develop our technology for use across a range of industries. We are looking carefully at the broader market for our carbon capture technology, which includes not just power generation but also the production of cement, steel and aluminium, as well as biogas, across a range of territories including India and China.”

C-Capture’s technology uses new proprietary solvents to remove carbon dioxide, offering a safer and less expensive alternative to current technologies based on the use of amines. It provides a means to make the removal of carbon dioxide significantly more economic from a range of large-scale processes, such as power generation from coal, gas and biomass, and the production of cement, steel, and aluminium. C-Capture, based in Leeds, was formed in 2009 as a spin-out from Leeds University with funding from IP Group and has raised over £2.2m from the UK government and £1.7m from IP Group so far to develop its technology.

Will Gardiner, CEO of Drax Group, said: “At Drax we are focused on enabling a zero-carbon, lower-cost energy future, and want to take advantage of the environmental and business opportunities created by a growing net zero carbon economy. The innovative technology C-Capture has developed and is piloting at Drax Power Station is putting the UK on the map when it comes to carbon capture and global efforts to tackle climate change. This investment gives us a long-term commercial agreement to work together with them.
“We’re confident that our bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project will be successful, and if we scale it up, it could enable Drax to become the world’s first negative emissions power station. This significant milestone means the power we produce would help to reduce the carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere.”
David Eyton, BP’s group head of technology said: “BP believes carbon capture, use and storage has a key role to play in reducing emissions, in line with global climate ambitions. C-Capture’s technology could reduce the cost of capturing carbon dioxide. Our investment in C-Capture supports our ambition to advance the energy transition, and we look forward to working with them to explore opportunities to trial their technology.”

Ben Murphy, Cleantech Investment Manager at IP Group plc, said: “IP Group has been involved with the company from the outset and we’re delighted to see C-Capture winning the recognition we feel the technology merits. C-Capture’s technology is world-leading, with exceptional potential to mitigate climate change. That BP and Drax have chosen to invest in the business is further strong validation of C-Capture’s technology. IP Group is delighted to support the team with this fundraising and remains extremely excited about C-Capture’s prospects.”

Energy Minister takes in carbon capture commissioning at Drax

Energy Minister takes in carbon capture commissioning at Drax
Humber Business.com 3rd December – News
Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry has visited Drax Power Station’s bioenergy carbon capture and storage pilot plant, which uses technology developed by C-Capture.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister visits innovative carbon capture pilot at Drax

Energy and Clean Growth Minister visits innovative carbon capture pilot at Drax
Drax.com 29th November – Online
Further coverage of Drax power station’s announcement of work to commission its bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project, which is using technology developed by C-Capture.

Also in Market Screener.

Biomass UK calls CCUS action plan ‘a strong step forward’

Biomass UK calls CCUS action plan ‘a strong step forward’
Biomass Magazine 28th November – Online
Further coverage of Drax power station’s announcement of work to commission its bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) pilot project, which is using technology developed by C-Capture.

Also in Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Drax seeks ‘negative emissions’ with biomass and CCS trial

Drax seeks ‘negative emissions’ with biomass and CCS trial
Environmental Data Interactive Exchange 27th November – Online
In May, Drax power station announced a £400,000 pilot scheme to capture the gas produced from burning wood pellets. Drax has spent time working with energy firm C-Capture, the founder Professor Chris Rayner is quoted.

Also in World Coal.

Drax power station storing CO2 gases from biomass fuel

Drax power station storing CO2 gases from biomass fuel
BBC 26th November – Online
The biggest power station in the UK has started a project working with energy firm C-Capture, to store carbon dioxide emissions and the gas could be used in the drinks industry. In May, Drax power station announced a £400,000 pilot scheme to capture the gas produced from burning wood pellets.

Also in:

Daily Telegraph

The Chemical Engineer

Carbon Capture Journal

Bioenergy International

Utility Week

Biomass Magazine

Drax to pilot Europe’s first bioenergy carbon capture storage project using C-Capture Technology


Pilot could lead to Drax’s biomass power generation becoming carbon negative, putting Britain at the forefront of the race to develop BECCS

L-R: Jason Shipstone, Head of R&D, Drax Group; Caspar Schoolderman, Director of Engineering, C-Capture Ltd; Andy Koss, CEO Drax Power; Prof Christopher Rayner, Technical Director, C-Capture Ltd; Carl Clayton, Research and Innovation Engineer, Drax Group.

Drax has announced that it is to pilot the first bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) project of its kind in Europe, which, if successful, could make the renewable electricity produced at its North Yorkshire power station carbon negative.

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 no longer contribute to climate change, but would start to reduce the carbon accumulating in the atmosphere.

The demonstration project will see Drax partner with Leeds-based C-Capture and invest £400,000 in what could be the first of several pilot projects undertaken at Drax to deliver a rapid, lower cost demonstration of BECCS.

Drax Power Station became the largest decarbonisation project in Europe by upgrading its existing facilities and, if the pilot is successful, it will examine options for a similar re-purposing of existing infrastructure to deliver more carbon savings.

A report by the Energy Technology Institute in 2016 has suggested that by the 2050s BECCS could deliver roughly 55 million tonnes of net negative emissions a year in the UK – approximately half the nation’s emissions target.

The first phase of the project, starting this month, will look to see if the solvent C-Capture has developed is compatible with the biomass flue gas at Drax Power Station.
A lab-scale study into the feasibility of re-utilising the flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) absorbers at the power station will also be carried out to assess potential capture rates.

FGD equipment is vital for reducing sulphur emissions from coal, but has become redundant on three of the generating units at Drax that have been upgraded to use biomass, because the wood pellets used produce minimal levels of sulphur.

Depending on the outcome of a feasibility study, the C-Capture team will proceed to the second phase of the pilot in the autumn, when a demonstration unit will be installed to isolate the carbon dioxide produced by the biomass combustion.

Will Gardiner, CEO, Drax Group, said: “If the world is to achieve the targets agreed in Paris and pursue a cleaner future, negative emissions are a must – and BECCS is a leading technology to help achieve it.

“This pilot is the UK’s first step, but it won’t be the only one at Drax. We will soon have four operational biomass units, which provide us with a great opportunity to test different technologies that could allow Drax, the country and the world, to deliver negative emissions and start to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Unlike previous CCS projects Drax has been involved with, this is an early pilot for a new technology. It will examine the potential of a new form of carbon capture, post combustion on biomass, rather than coal.

The government’s Clean Growth Strategy identified BECCS as one of several greenhouse gas removal technologies that could remove emissions from the atmosphere and help achieve long term decarbonisation.

Claire Perry, Energy & Clean Growth Minister, said: “We aim to make the UK a world leader in carbon capture usage and storage, a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy. It’s hugely exciting that Drax has chosen to invest in this innovative project, demonstrating how government support for innovation can create an environment where companies can develop new technologies and scale up investment to build the sectors we will need to achieve long term decarbonisation.”
C-Capture is a spin-out from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, established through funding from IP Group Plc.

Chris Rayner, founder of C-Capture and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Leeds, said: “We have developed fundamentally new chemistry to capture CO2 and have shown that it should be suitable for capturing the carbon produced from bioenergy processes.

“The key part is now to move it from our own facilities and into the real world at Drax. Through the pilot scheme we aim to demonstrate that the technology we’ve developed is a cost-effective way to achieve one of the holy grails of CO2 emissions strategies – negative emissions in power production, which is where we believe the potential CO2 emissions reductions are likely to be the greatest.”

Andy Duley, Director of Commercialisation at the University of Leeds, said: “The University has an established track record in working with private sector investors and leveraging its own funds to launch successful spin out companies. C-Capture is the latest example of our continued success in converting research expertise into a valuable service which directly benefits industry, and has the potential to make an impact around the world.”

C-Capture wins Energy Entrepreneurs 5 Funding for CCS Scale up

C-Capture has been awarded funding of over £1 million to help develop their amine free post-combustion carbon capture solvent technology for use in power generation.
The funding is from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under their Energy Entrepreneurs program, and the CO2 Capture Project (funded by BP, Chevron and Petrobras). The project, working with industrial collaborators, and with world-leading experts in CCS from Sintef in Norway, aims to facilitate scale up of C-Capture technology, focussing on key aspects of relevance for large scale deployment. In particular, it aims to verify the exceptional low energy requirements for CO2 capture, other environmentally beneficial aspects, and to provide an overall understanding of the main benefits compared to other current solvent based approaches for CO2 capture.

C-Capture appoints Tristan Fischer as Chairman.

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Tristan Fischer as Executive Chairman of the C-Capture Board. Tristan joins us with over 20 years experience in energy infrastructure projects, with a focus on low carbon and renewable energy.

He brings a wealth of experience from previous positions as CEO, Chairman and/or Director of a number of private and public companies. Previous companies include Camco, where he provided energy efficiency solutions for the coal, steel and cement sectors, Shell Renewables Hydrogen & CO2 and Shell Technology Ventures, where he had multiple roles, and Citigroup Project Finance, where he financed coal, natural gas and IGCC power stations.

Prof. Chris Rayner, Founder Director of C-Capture commented, ‘The appointment of Tristan to the Board represents a major milestone in the maturation of C-Capture as we progress to commercialisation of our technology. We are very excited about his appointment and look forward to working with him at this vital stage of the company development.’

Tristan Fischer commented, ‘I am particularly excited about the prospect of working with such an innovative and enthusiastic group of people. The C-Capture technology is a major improvement over current processes for CO2 removal, and the broad range of potential applications represents a tremendous opportunity as we make the transition to a low carbon world.’

C.M. Rayner
Director, C-Capture.
October 2017