Sizewell C has been awarded £3 million by the government to develop plans for Direct Air Capture (DAC) which could be powered by heat from the new nuclear power station proposed for Suffolk.
The funding will allow engineers from the University of Nottingham, Strata Technology, Atkins, Doosan Babcock and Sizewell C to construct a demonstrator DAC unit capable of extracting 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.
If the demonstrator project being developed is successful, a scaled-up DAC unit powered by heat from Sizewell C is predicted to capture 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
Sizewell C’s Financing Director Julia Pyke said: “This is another fantastic vote of confidence in Sizewell C and shows how nuclear can add even more value to our future energy system.”
Rolls-Royce has also secured £3 million from the government to build a demonstrator DAC system in Derby.
The project is expected to be operational next year – it is forecast to remove more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere.
A full-scale version of this plant could remove one million tonnes per year, the company has said.
Jess Poole, Direct Air Capture Lead for Rolls-Royce, said: “The system works like a giant lung, sucking in air, absorbing the carbon dioxide and releasing what is not wanted. We use a water-based liquid to wash around 50% of the carbon dioxide from the captured air.
“Our technology is distinctive because very little water is used and the liquid is recycled at low temperatures, making it energy efficient.”