Ricardo’s innovative carbon-negative technology could hold the key to future national energy security

Soaring natural gas prices have created a perfect storm for manufacturers, who now face not only exponentially rising energy costs, but also little or no supply of industrial-grade carbon dioxide, which has left the food and beverage sector in particular in crisis. Businesses and communities across Europe are also affected by a lack of security of gas supply, leading governments to consider fast-track nuclear power options or even have to go back to fossil fuels just to ensure sovereign energy security.

Could there be another solution to these problems? In this blog, Josh Dalby, Chief Engineer for Technical Authorities, argues that Ricardo’s innovative Carbon Capture Demonstration Plant, which will use sustainably sourced forest waste to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, will provide local communities with renewable heat and power, provide national energy security, and produce industrial-grade carbon dioxide that can be used to make low-carbon concrete or in the food and beverage industry.

“Ricardo is leading a consortium project, which has been funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), to design, install and operate a combined heat and power demonstration plant with a negative carbon footprint that will showcase climate repair technology. The plant will demonstrate the effectiveness of community-scale greenhouse gas removal and clean energy using sustainably sourced forest residues.”

“The consortium combines an innovative carbon capture system developed by Ricardo with hot air turbine technology from Bluebox Energy and pyrolysis technology from Woodtek Engineering. The quarter-size demonstration plant will be located at Holmsted Farm in West Sussex in the UK will demonstrate not only highly innovative greenhouse gas removal technology, which in the full size system can generate renewable heat and electricity for up to 300 local homes and businesses, but also realistic carbon negative technology which can make a significant contribution to net-zero emissions targets.

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“The technology works by taking sustainably sourced waste wood from domestic timber production and then processing it in three ways: producing biochar (a product similar to charcoal), generating heat and power, and capturing carbon dioxide from exhaust gases. The technology therefore captures around 95% of the carbon content in wood It also produces commercially marketable carbon products: farmers can use the biochar to enrich the soil and add it to animal feed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ruminants Industrial-grade carbon dioxide can be used to make low-carbon concrete or in the food and beverage industry to replace carbon dioxide derived from industrial processes that rely on imported natural gas A full-size system will eliminate 16,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere.

“The rising wholesale price of natural gas and uncertainty over the security of supply for both energy and industrial-grade carbon dioxide mean that world-renowned food and beverage manufacturers, in particular, are yearning for a solution that can provide them security. on supply and cost control to ensure they can continue to manufacture their products Our combined heat and power plant could be located on a food manufacturing site, fueled with sustainable wood waste from local and indigenous sources at lower cost than natural gas, and safely and continuously supplying clean energy, heat, industrial-grade carbon dioxide, and biochar, which could be sold to farmers who may well be producing ingredients for manufacturers. benefits from security of supply and a virtuous cycle of production”.

“Throughout the UK, almost all existing combined heat and power plants are gas fired, so given rising natural gas prices, wouldn’t it be better to have a wood-fired combined heat and power plant? waste from sustainable sources? In addition, manufacturers looking to decarbonize their operations will also use carbon-negative technology that will have a positive impact on their greenhouse gas emissions by removing and storing carbon.”

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“We are currently in the process of completing the design of our combined heat and power demonstration plant, and expect to complete it by the end of this year. We have also started procuring hardware for the demonstration. The plant will be commissioned and operational.” mid 2023″.

“Ricardo is a trusted advisor to governments around the world on climate change policies and the clean energy transition, and we support global customers on their decarbonization journey. In partnership with Bluebox Energy and Woodtek Engineering, our ambition is to demonstrate that our innovative and integrated carbon capture system can be used to benefit local communities, reinforce the UK’s reputation as a pioneer in negative emission technologies and provide a sustainable and commercially viable path to net zero at the same while providing national energy security.

If our technology can help your business, get in touch: [email protected]

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