Energy secretary Chris Huhne has opened the UK’s largest carbon capture pilot plant at energy firm SSE’s Ferrybridge coal-fired power station in West Yorkshire.
The £20M project - a collaboration between SSE, engineering firm Doosan Power Systems and Swedish power firm Vettenfall - will capture up to 100t of carbon dioxide per day from the power station’s combustion gas flues.
This is the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 5MW of electrical power; but is only a small fraction of the total exhaust from the 2000MW plant. Engineers have designed the unit, known as CCPilot100+, which will separate the carbon dioxide from the other combustion gases through a scrubbing process. However, the carbon dioxide will still be released into the atmosphere as the pilot is only looking at the capturing element of a carbon capture and storage scheme.
Engineers have designed the capture unit as the first step to a full commercial-scale demonstration project envisaged by the government. The project was supported by a £6M grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Technology Strategy Board.