J V Energen’s newly installed carbon capture facility in Dorset, UK was officially opened by the Prince of Wales on 9 June.
The facility supplies green CO2 to its new joint venture business BioCarbonics, having been captured from a full-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) and biomethane-to-grid plant.
The CO2 produced at J V Energen’s Rainbarrow Farm AD plant is processed into a high-quality food and beverage grade product, where it is used for the carbonation of bottled and canned drinks, for distribution to pubs for on-site carbonation of beers, ciders and ales, and in horticulture, to stimulate photosynthesis for the increased production of fruits and vegetables.
The opening of this BioCarbonics joint venture green CO2 facility marks the launch of a pioneering model for the UK CO2 industry, where green CO2 is recovered from a network of renewable energy sources to ensure improved continuity of supply, with no danger of a repeat of the industry-wide shortages seen in 2018.
Championed by the Prince of Wales, Rainbarrow Farm AD plant was the UK’s first commercial biomethane-to-grid plant, currently generating enough gas to reach 7,500 houses mid-winter and more than 100,000 homes in the summer.
Biogas produced at Rainbarrow Farm was first cleaned and injected as biomethane into the national gas network on 11 October 2012.
“Most of the CO2 used in the UK comes from industrial fossil fuel processes with a historically unreliable continuity of supply,” said Christopher Carson, BioCarbonics’ managing director.
“BioCarbonics is changing that by relying on multiple, smaller sources of green CO2, which is recovered from biomethane production, where clean, green feedstocks are being converted into green gas for use in the national gas network to heat local homes and businesses.
“To safeguard against CO2 shortages, Rainbarrow Farm is one of two facilities in BioCarbonics’ growing network. The other facility, located in Herefordshire, has been active since June 2019. Together, these two facilities produce over 40 lorries per month of green liquid CO2.”
CO2 recovery at Rainbarrow Farm currently operates 12-14 hours per day and will move to 24/7 production by mid-June and the facility will produce +24 lorries per month when fully loaded.
As well as using the CO2 locally, the digestate by-product is used as an organic, peat-free, nutrient soil enricher, which is packaged as a soil enricher for sale to over 350 garden centres and helps local farmers to reduce reliance on artificial fertilisers.