Pilkington UK Hosts Europe’s First Carbon Capture Trial in the Flat Glass Industry

Pilkington UK Hosts Europe’s First Carbon Capture Trial in the Flat Glass Industry

Press Release
21 Dec 2023
Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, announced the successful launch of Europe's first carbon capture trial in the flat glass industry, alongside partners C-Capture and Glass Futures.
C-Capture’s Project Manager, Claudia Hernandez and XLR8 CCS project partners at the CCSCU which has been deployed at Pilkington UK’s site in St Helens, UK, to trial C-Capture’s carbon capture technology in the glass manufacturing industry.
On the 12th December, the project partners met at the Pilkington UK site to see the carbon capture unit in action. The unit captures carbon from the float furnaces flue which, in future, could then be stored or further utilised.

The trial forms part of C-Capture’s national project, ‘XLR8 CCS – Accelerating the Deployment of a Low-Cost Carbon Capture Solution for Hard-to-Abate Industries’. The project aims to demonstrate that a low-cost carbon capture solution is a reality for difficult-to-decarbonise industries in the race to net zero. 

Beginning with glass production, XLR8 CCS will prove the ability of C-Capture’s innovative carbon capture technology to remove carbon dioxide from the flue gas emissions of three industries which are difficult-to-decarbonise but committed to reducing their carbon levels. 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.
The carbon capture trial announced today is now successfully underway in St Helens, UK, at Pilkington UK’s glass manufacturing site, part of NSG Group. It is the first demonstration of a carbon-capture technology on an industrial flat glass furnace in Europe. 

The compatibility of C-Capture’s proprietary solvent-based technology will be assessed with a further five carbon capture trials from next year at sites owned by project partners Glass Futures, Heidelberg Materials and Energy Works Hull – in conjunction with leading consulting and engineering company, Wood. Carbon capture solvent compatibility units (CCSCUs) designed and built by C-Capture and Wood will be installed and operated on partners’ sites.

Project success will see C-Capture and its project partners well placed for deployment of commercial-scale carbon capture facilities across the three industries by 2030 which could capture millions of tonnes of CO2 per year.

Minister for Energy Efficiency, Lord Callanan, said: “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. 

“Based on a fundamentally different chemistry to other commercially available approaches, our next generation technology is an innovation in the carbon capture sector. It is lower cost and environmentally benign as it does not rely on the use of amines. It is also extremely robust and suitable for use in industries such as glass and cement which are essential to the economy but difficult to decarbonise due to the high level of impurities in their flue gases. The advantages of C-Capture’s approach mean it has the potential to break through the barriers that are currently preventing the widespread adoption of carbon capture and storage technology – and make a globally significant contribution to tackling climate change.

“We are delighted to collaborate with our XLR8 CCS project partners who have strong commitments to decarbonisation and are early adopters of novel carbon capture technology. Together, we will demonstrate how the UK is leading the way to develop and export industrial decarbonisation. The project is a huge step forward for these industries and a critical part of the route to net zero.”

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.”

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.”

Azad Hessamodini, Executive President of Consulting at Wood, said: “Carbon capture plays a critical role in accelerating our journey towards net zero and we are focused on working with technology partners and clients to advance this journey at pace by creating solutions that are scalable, investable and deliverable. It has been incredibly rewarding for the team at Wood to apply our decarbonisation expertise to bring a competitive carbon capture solution to reduce emissions in heavy and hard-to-abate industries. Together with the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, C-Capture and the XLR8 CCS project partners, we share immense pride in what we’ve accomplished with the rollout of C-Capture’s carbon capture technology and commencement of the first on-site trial.”

Simon Willis, CEO of Heidelberg Materials UK, said: “Carbon capture is the only way to decarbonise cement production and essential if we are to reach net zero carbon by 2050.

“Our Padeswood cement works in north Wales is already part of the HyNet North West carbon capture and storage project and our involvement with the XLR8 CCS project at our Ketton works is another example of our commitment to developing new technologies.

“We will be following the Pilkington UK trial closely and look forward to starting our own in 2024 which, if successful, has the potential to be rolled-out at other sites across the Heidelberg Materials Group.”

XLR8 CCS builds on C-Capture’s work in demonstrating the benefits of the company’s carbon capture technology in other essential industries following the successful completion of pilot plants on biomass fired power, biogas and landfill gas upgrading applications. 
For further information visit www.c-capture.co.uk.


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