Europe’s first carbon capture trial on a mainstream flat glass manufacturing plant has been launched by Leeds University-based C-Capture with Pilkington UK and Glass Futures at the manufacturer’s manufacturing site in St Helens.

The trial forms part of a national project aiming to demonstrate that a low-cost carbon capture solution is a reality for difficult-to-decarbonise industries in the race to net zero.

Carbon capture trials will follow in the cement and energy from waste industries as part of the project which secured £1.7m in funding from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. The funding is part of the £20 million Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) Innovation 2.0 programme aimed at accelerating the deployment of next-generation CCUS technology in the UK. Additional private sector contributions support a £2.7 million total for this multi-industry project.

Paul Skinner, Global R&D Portfolio Manager at NSG Group, said: “To have demonstrated at our Pilkington UK operation that carbon capture is indeed possible is a very exciting development and a key milestone in our decarbonisation technology journey, aiming towards our target of carbon neutral glass manufacture. It’s been great to collaborate with the C-Capture and Glass Futures team in getting to this point, and we look forward to the further valuable learning we will gain from the rest of the XLR8 CCS project.”

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency, added: “Carbon capture will play an essential role to decarbonise heavy industries and deliver on our ambitious climate goals.

“We’ve already invested nearly £350 million in the technology, including for this first ever carbon capture trial in the flat glass industry in Europe.

“This revolutionary test could transform carbon capture technology across polluting industries – representing a significant step in our transition to Net Zero.”

Tom White, CEO, C-Capture, said: “With COP 28 recently drawing to a close, we are proud to announce a significant step on the path to net zero with the successful start of our carbon capture trial in the glass manufacturing industry. Carbon capture is an essential part of the raft of solutions that are urgently needed to tackle climate change. Currently though, barriers such as cost, technology maturity and compatibility within multiple industries, are preventing the widespread adoption of carbon capture.”

Dr Masimba Toperesu, R&D Projects Lead at Glass Futures said: “This European first for the glass industry is a monumental step toward implementing technology that will help the glass industry and our partners in other sectors to better understand CCUS.
Through demonstrations on working industrial sites such as this, we will ultimately decarbonise these essential industries.” 

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