Drax is to pilot bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) that could result in renewable electricity produced at its North Yorkshire power station being carbon negative. 

UK outfit C-Capture will partner with Drax on the demo, with the first phase assessing whether not a solvent developed by the former is compatible with the biomass flue gas at the power station.

A lab-scale study into the feasibility of re-using the flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) absorbers at the power station will also be carried out to assess potential capture rates.

The FGD equipment, which reduces sulphur emissions from coal, has become redundant at three of the generating units at Drax that have been upgraded to use biomass.

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

Drax said it is investing £400,000 in project, which could be the first of several pilot schemes.

Drax Group chief executive Will Gardiner 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.”

C-Power founder and professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Leeds Chris Rayner said: “The key part is now to move from our own facilities and into the real world at Drax.”   

Image: Drax