Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) were granted a £4.2 million government grant, through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Programme, to build a carbon capture plant in Northwich, Cheshire. The plant opened on the 24th of June 2022 and aims to recycle 40,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. Making it the UK’s largest carbon capture plant and reducing TCE’s carbon emissions by 10%.
The plant is the first in the world to purify and liquefy carbon dioxide that will be extracted from the air to produce bicarbonate of soda. The bicarbonate of soda made will have the lowest carbon footprint for a sodium carbonate product, and they have estimated that their annual targets of extraction will equate to the removal of 20,000 cars of the road. TCE have promised that the production of the bicarbonate of soda will reach net zero to be in line with the UK Government’s 2050 target.
The bicarbonate of soda, also known as Ecokarb, produced through the purification process will be both food and pharmaceutical safe. The product will be used for food, for both human and animal consumption, water purification and to help treat those that are living with kidney disease. The company aims to export the bicarbonate of soda to 60 countries worldwide.
This isn’t the only carbon capture plant in the UK, in North Yorkshire, at the Drax Power Station, their carbon capture plant extracts 1 tonne of CO2 each day. The power station has already reduced its emissions by 80% by using biomass pellets to produce energy instead of coal.
Martin Ashcroft, the Managing Director of TCE, stated that ‘This project is a great example of business and government together rising to the challenge of decarbonising energy intensive industrial manufacturing. The innovation to create this unique process is a major step forwards in the green industrial revolution.’
This project proves that the technology works, and that the UK has the technology it needs to lower the emissions of its industry sector, that will help us to get to net zero in 2050.