Guidance for businesses to capture carbon from combustion process

29 July 2021

The Environment Agency (EA) has published guidance to help businesses meet new regulations on capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from their combustion process.

Operators wanting to capture CO2 from their combustion process in England will need an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. The guidance is designed to help businesses meet permit requirements which have been put in place to protect the environment and communities.

Lee Rawlinson, Director of Regulated Industry at the Environment Agency, said the regulations will help “create a net zero nation that is resilient to climate change”.

“As an environmental regulator, our role is to ensure that these new technologies, including carbon capture, are conducted in a way that protects people and the environment,” he added.

The new guidance was compiled by UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC), together with industry, the EA and other UK regulators. It is based on the principles of using “best available techniques (BAT)” to prevent or minimising emissions and impacts on the environment from post-combustion carbon dioxide capture.

Luke Warren, Chief Executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), described the new guidance as “an important early step that provides essential net zero CCS facilities with permitting guidance”.

“The CCSA also recognise that further work will need to be done to ensure the full breadth of CCS technologies are recognised by relevant BAT guidance”, Warren added.

Businesses can fit post-combustion carbon capture (PCC) technology to combined heat and power (CHP) plants fuelled by natural gas and biomass or on to plants that use amine-based technologies to capture CO2 from the flue gases.

The CO2 can then be either stored in permanent underground geological storage facilities, or used as a product such as in plastics, concrete and carbonated drinks etc.

The guidance can also be used by other organisations and members of the public who want to understand how the environmental regulations and standards are being applied.

The guidance, Post-combustion carbon dioxide capture: best available techniques (BAT) is available from the EA here.