Drax Captures Its First Carbon Dioxide in Move to Cut Emissions

(Bloomberg) -- Drax Group Plc has started capturing carbon dioxide at its Yorkshire power plant for the first time in a pilot project to develop the technology.

The six-month bioenergy carbon capture and storage test aims to suck up a ton of carbon dioxide a day at its biomass plant, with technology that isolates the pollutant from flue gases released when biomass is burned to generate electricity, the U.K. utility said in a statement.

During the pilot Drax will explore how to scale up the process, how to store the carbon and whether it can be used in other industrial processes. The company invested 400,000 pounds ($514,440) in the project with technology firm C-Capture.

Scientists, lawmakers and industry broadly agree that carbon capture and storage is crucial if the world is to cut pollution levels drastically enough to keep global warming to manageable levels. However, governments have been slow to subsidize technology that the biggest polluters say is too expensive for them to foot the bill alone. Critics argue that countries should be looking to move away from burning fossil fuels altogether.

The U.K. government is behind a push to attract investment and encourage development in the carbon capture and storage sector with the aim of having an operational plant by the middle of the next decade.

“We’re focused on working together to make the progress required for us to tackle climate change and enable a zero-carbon, lower-cost energy future,” said Will Gardiner, Drax’s chief executive officer.

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