Carbon capture could keep the fizz in beer

UK power company Drax is launching a new carbon capture and storage project that could see the trapped carbon used by breweries and pubs to help ‘keep the pep in the nation’s pints’.

Drax, which owns Britain’s biggest power station in northern England, is developing a new technology called Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).

The first of its kind in Europe, the BECCS project not only has the potential to make the renewable power generated at Drax carbon negative, but it could also help secure future access to carbon dioxide for the UK’s breweries and pubs.

Drax estimates that one tonne of carbon dioxide could be captured and stored each day from one of the power station’s biomass-fuelled generating units. That’s enough to be used in 32,000 pints of beer a day or 5.7 million over the course of the six-month project.

If successful, the technology could be scaled up to capture even more carbon dioxide at the power station.

Britain’s pubs were impacted earlier this summer by a shortage of carbon dioxide gas. Drax has already met with the British Beer & Pub Association to discuss how its new technology could help secure the availability of beer.

“This pilot not only has the potential to ensure the UK meets its climate targets, but for the carbon captured to also help to keep the nation’s beer from going flat – and we’d certainly raise a glass to that,” said Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner.

Brigid Simmonds, British Beer & Pub Association CEO, said: “Beer is the nation’s favourite alcoholic beverage and on average pubs serve as much as 10 million pints of beer per day, so the recent shortfall of CO2 was most unwelcome. We hope that these discussions with Drax Group and the potential to increase access to a new source of CO2 in the UK will help ensure that a shortage does not happen again.”

Image credit: mnm.all via Unsplash


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