July 1 (Renewables Now) - UK power producer Drax Group Plc (LON:DRX) last week announced GBP 5.5 million (USD 7m/EUR 6.14m) of funding from the UK Government for two projects related to the capture, storage and potential utilisation of carbon.
A grant of GBP 5 million has been awarded to C-Capture, a company established out of Leeds University’s School of Chemistry, to support a two-year programme to expand and optimise the bioenergy and carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project at the Drax Power Station.
C-Capture and Drax’s Innovation team will extend the existing pilot BECCS facilities at the power plant and carry out performance optimisation trials. They will also initiate a chemistry validation and testing programme together with SINTEF and the CO2Technology Centre Mongstad. Another important step of the two-year programme is the process design development to prepare for commercial-scale deployment of the technology, including re-purposing the existing Drax infrastructure for BECCS.
“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,” said Caspar Schoolderman, C-Capture’s COO and Project Lead.
Drax CEO Will Gardiner added that Drax could become the ‘anchor’ for a wider carbon capture and storage (CCS) network in the Humber region.
The GBP 5 million of funding comes through the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) Innovation Programme of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Meanwhile, Drax has secured a further GBP 500,000 to study the feasibility of using molten carbonate fuel cells by FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) to generate electricity, whilst capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from flue gases. The CO2 will be then used in the growing of tomatoes and other salad crops in huge greenhouses located next to Drax Power Station.
The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study for this project will be completed later this year.
Drax has been capturing CO2 emissions from biomass power generation at its power station, near Selby in North Yorkshire, since February, as part of a pilot project. Earlier in June it announced it would study the use of CO to produce proteins for animal feeds.