A manufacturing facility in Northwich has been awarded £4.2 million to capture and utilise carbon dioxide in production, removing 22,000 cars-worth of emissions a year from the atmosphere.
The plant, which is owned by Tata Chemicals Europe and produces soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, will capture CO2 from the flue gases of its on-site combined heat and power (CHP) plant, then purify and liquify it for use directly in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate.
In other words, CO2 that would be going into the atmosphere will instead be utilised in the manufacturing process as a raw material - reducing the plant’s environmental impact and production costs at the same time.
‘Hugely exciting project’
The process is expected to capture and produce up to 40,000 tonnes of CO2 a year once up and running in 2021, making it the UK’s largest carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) initiative to date.
Martin Ashcroft, managing director of Tata Chemicals Europe, said: “The CCU demonstration plant will enable us to reduce our carbon emissions, whilst securing supplies of a critical raw material, helping to grow the export of our products across the world.
“Implementing this industry-leading project, with such strong environmental and operational benefits, is hugely exciting. We hope that this project will demonstrate the viability of CCU and pave the way for further applications of the technology to support the decarbonisation of industrial activity.”
Carbon capture potential
The project is one of 9 across the country to have secured £26 million of government funding to rollout carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology, which is seen as a crucial step in delivering the UK’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
Energy and clean growth minister Chris Skidmore, who visited the Tata Chemicals Europe facility to announce the funding, said: “Carbon capture, utilisation and storage has an essential role to play in our efforts to tackle climate change, helping us to meet our ambition to end our contribution to global warming entirely by 2050.
“If we are to become a net zero emissions economy and end our contribution towards global warming, then innovative schemes like Tata Chemicals’ will be essential. Their plans demonstrate the enormous potential that CCUS has, reducing our emissions and helping companies to innovate and export products all around the world.”
Posted under Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy, Chemicals and Other Manufacturing on 10 July 2019