The UK Government Raises the Bar for Net Zero: CCU Can Help Heavy Industry Deliver

By John Pilkington, Chief Executive

With one eye on Earth Day 2021 and the other on the UK’s leadership role at COP26 in Glasgow, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, this week ratcheted the pressure on heavy industry (and the power generation sector) to reduce their carbon emissions far sooner than originally envisaged.  The UK Government has decided to follow the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035    

Once more, the importance of carbon capture in delivering Net Zero is highlighted.

Over the past 12 months, we have seen a massive spike in interest in our patented carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) solution, Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT). With the UK’s tougher commitments – and not forgetting the UK Government’s 10-point Green Industrial Revolution Plan and Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy – that interest will increase. 

Carbon8 Systems are in a position to capitalise on this increased focus towards CCU.  Our ACT process has been tested and proven at cement plants in the UK and Canada (at Hansons and CRH) and at AVR’s Energy from Waste plant in The Netherlands.  And last year, we deployed our first commercial unit at Vicat Group’s cement plant at Montalieu in France.

We are also active members of the South Wales Industrial Cluster, a consortium of companies that, with UK Government support, is working to decarbonise heavy industry in South Wales by 2050, if not sooner.

With the global cement industry responsible for 5% to 7% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, CCU has a massive role to play in cutting the industry’s CO2 emissions from heavy industry, whilst also giving it a new revenue opportunity.  By utilising ACT at their plants, not only will CO2 emissions be cut, but they will reduce the amount of waste (cement bypass dust) going to landfill, and so reduce the environmental impact of their operations.  We offer heavy industries, like cement manufacturing, a true circular economy solution.

In addition to the environmental benefits, there is a strong financial upside in using ACT to produce carbon negative aggregate for commercial use.  Typically, the manufacture of 1 million tonnes of cement will create 10,000 tonnes of waste residue which, by using our solution, can be carbonated and mineralised into aggregate, generating an additional £350,000 of profit.  And not forgetting, we estimate that c1,650 tonnes of CO2 would have been permanently captured in the process.   Added to the significant reputational benefits of ACT, among regulators, shareholders, customers and NGOs, we have seen a surge of interest in our work.  The opportunities are huge – not only in cement, but also the energy from waste, steel and paper/pulp industries.

Earth Day and COP26 notwithstanding, pressure is building on heavy industry to decarbonise: CCU technologies provide a real solution.

Our patented solution is known as the CO₂ntainer – a modular, containerised solution – that is described as “carbon capture in a box” and which is transported to site on HGVs.

John Pilkington - CEO