Tata Chemicals Europe has opened the first industrial scale carbon capture and usage plant in the United Kingdom, signalling a key milestone in the race to meet the U.K.’s – and the world’s – net zero targets.
The plant captures 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year—the equivalent of taking over 20,000 cars off the roads, and ten-times more than what GNN reported to be the world’s largest carbon capture factory just 10 months ago.
The $24 million (£20 million) investment has been completed by U.K.-based Tata Chemicals Europe, one of Europe’s leading producers of sodium carbonate, salt and baking soda, and they expect it to lower their carbon emissions by more than 10%.
The project will help unlock the future of carbon capture as it demonstrates the viability of the technology to remove carbon dioxide from power plant emissions and to use it in high end manufacturing applications.
The party trick is that in a world first, carbon dioxide captured from energy generation emissions is being purified to food and pharmaceutical grade and used as a raw material in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) which will be known as Ecokarb®. This unique and innovative process is patented in the U.K. with further patents pending in key territories around the world.
Ecokarb® will be exported to over 60 countries around the world.
Much of the sodium bicarbonate exported will be used in haemodialysis to treat people living with kidney disease.
It will also be used to essential items like glass, washing detergents, pharmaceutical products, food, animal feed and in water purification.
The carbon capture plant, which was supported with a £4.2m grant through the U.K. Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (“BEIS”) Energy Innovation Program, marks a major step towards sustainable manufacturing which will see Tata make net zero sodium bicarbonate and one of the lowest carbon footprint sodium carbonate products in the world.
“The completion of the carbon capture and utilisation plant enables us to reduce our carbon emissions, whilst securing our supply of high purity carbon dioxide, a critical raw material, helping us to grow the export of our pharmaceutical grade products across the world,” said Martin Ashcroft, Managing Director of Tata Chemicals Europe.
“With the support of our parent company, Tata Chemicals, and BEIS, we have been able to deliver this hugely innovative project, enabling our U.K. operations to take a major step in our carbon emissions reduction journey.
Since 2000 we’ve reduced our carbon intensity by 50% and have a clear roadmap to reduce this by 80% by 2030.”