A Scottish carbon capture firm’s bid to remove one million tonnes of CO2 a year from the atmosphere by 2030 has been backed by an international investor.
Carbon Capture Scotland is carrying out a £120 million carbon removal and storage project following a seven-figure investment from the Steyn Group.
Project Nexus is focusing on the Scotch whiskey and agriculture sectors.
It aims to remove carbon dioxide that has been naturally captured in organic materials such as wheat and barley.
The company has developed a method to capture the CO2 produced by organic processes such as whiskey fermentation.
The technology, which is already being trialled at its existing site near Dumfries, is due to be installed within the next year at several distilleries, including Tullibardine in Perthshire and Whyte and Mackay’s Invergordon distillery.
Part of Steyn’s investment will be used to finance the company’s first modular carbon capture units.
It will also fund the development of sites that permanently store and remove carbon dioxide in geological formations. Carbon Capture Scotland is exploring places such as the redundant North Sea oil fields.
Steyn will also provide financial support to help the company generate carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credits that can be used by global businesses to achieve net zero goals.
Carbon dioxide removal is a complex chain of events that ultimately removes CO2 from the atmosphere.
When biomass grows, be it grass or trees, it stores CO2. But when it dies and decomposes, the carbon is eventually released.
What it does is interrupt the process.
Biomass can be used to create electricity through combustion or fermentation, but if the CO2 generated can be captured and stored it is a carbon credit.
That credit can be a useful tool for mitigating — or offsetting — our overall emissions, especially those that may be harder to reduce to zero.
In 2021, Carbon Capture Scotland built one of the UK’s largest carbon capture sites at its southern Scotland base, using CO2 to produce dry ice for the pharmaceutical and food sectors.
The business has received more than £500,000 in financial support from South of Scotland Enterprise since it was founded ten years ago by brothers Ed and Richard Nimmons.
He said one of his top priorities was to develop carbon capture capabilities in rural areas that might normally lose tech jobs. He aims to generate up to 500 jobs across rural Scotland by 2030.
Richard Nimmons said: “Removing one million tonnes of CO2 a year is equivalent to decarbonising the gas and electricity of over 175,000 average UK homes.
“Project Nexus provides a huge carbon removal boost in the UK, working with businesses that are already a key part of our economy.
“This is one of the largest carbon removal programs in the world and we don’t have to wait 10 years – it can start now.”