Funding awarded for next stages of Sizewell C Direct Air Capture project

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Sizewell C is leading a consortium awarded £3m to develop plans for Direct Air Capture that could be powered by heat from the proposed new nuclear power station in Suffolk.

EDF

The funding from the government’s Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) competition will allow engineers from Nottingham University, Strata Technology, Atkins, Doosan Babcock and Sizewell C to construct a demonstrator DAC unit capable of extracting 100 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere per year.

“During Phase 1 our team of engineers, working alongside those from our partners, were able to develop a technically viable and commercially cost-effective process for capturing Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere,” said Roger Kimber, Strata Technology’s managing director. “Phase 2 funding has now provided us with the opportunity to develop our novel process to a scale where we can demonstrate just how effective our technology will be when deployed commercially and I am very excited to see the plant in action.”

Direct Air Capture involves removing carbon dioxide for storage and industrial uses, such as conversion into synthetic fuels.

According to EDF, most existing DAC systems are powered by electricity, natural gas, or both, but the consortium is working on a design where the CO2 capture and extraction is implemented using heat. If the demonstrator project is successful, a scaled-up DAC unit powered by heat from Sizewell C could eventually capture 1.5m tonnes of CO2 each year.

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A full-scale DAC system linked to Sizewell C would be built away from the power station and operated without any significant impact on its electricity output.

All engineering, design, construction and testing activities for the pilot will be carried out in the UK.

Chris Ball, managing director for Nuclear & Power, EMEA, Atkins, said: “The DAC project is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how co-locating clean technology at operational power stations will maximise their impact on a net zero energy system in the most cost-effective and efficient way. This Sizewell C project will create a model to show how we can test and then scale-up the development of novel technology and maximise the benefits of reliable, clean nuclear energy.”

EDF propose building a 3.2GW nuclear plant alongside Sizewell B power station, which has been operational on the Suffolk coast since 1995. A final decision on whether Sizewell C will proceed was expected on July 8 but has been put back to July 20, 2022.