The 2.6-gigawatt Drax biomass- and coal-fired generating station in the United Kingdom is aiming for carbon-negative status with the launch of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) pilot project, a first of its kind in Europe.
“If successful, the six-month pilot project will capture a tonne of CO2 a day from the gases produced when renewable power is generated,” the company said in a release.
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Drax claims the use of CCS at a plant that burns wood pellets, often made of compressed sawdust, “could enable the company to operate the world’s first carbon-negative power station,” Reuters reports. “When coupled with CCS, the overall process of generating electricity from biomass removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it releases, the company said.”
The carbon dioxide captured in the process will be stored at the power plant site, but Drax eventually hopes to find a buyer for the gas. Reuters notes the UK soft drink industry ran into a CO2 shortage earlier this year.
Past news reports have suggested that Drax won’t achieve much in the way of carbon reductions before 2065, and that the biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technique the plant is now piloting may not work as a negative emissions strategy.
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