June 23, 2020 / 11:09 PM / 12 days ago

Britain's Drax to pilot carbon capture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

FILE PHOTO: A general view of Drax power station in Drax, northern England, February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Drax and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) said on Wednesday they will launch a pilot project this autumn to capture carbon dioxide emissions from the British firm’s biomass power plants in the north of England.

Drax has converted four of its six coal power stations to biomass and plans to shut the last two in 2021, while keeping them available as back up until September 2022.

Britain has a target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and hopes technology to capture carbon emissions at power stations and industrial factories will help it achieve the goal.

Drax will test patented MHI solvents to see how they capture emissions produced when biomass wood pellets are burned in a 12-month pilot which is expected to capture 300 kilograms of carbon dioxide a day but this is not yet expected to be stored.

Drax Chief Executive Will Gardiner said in a statement that the trial would “further our understanding of the potential for deploying BECCS (Bioenergy capture use and storage) at scale.”

Drax hopes to become carbon negative by 2030 by developing BECCS technology and has another pilot project underway using a different solvent to capture emissions so they could be used in applications such as carbonating drinks.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Alexander Smith

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