Drax has announced plans to pilot a bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) project. 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 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.
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.