Ricardo’s technology will use sustainable forestry waste to remove greenhouse gases and provide local communities with renewable heat and electricity, and by-products for farming
As part of its mission to support the decarbonisation of the global transport and energy sectors, Ricardo, a world-class environmental, engineering and strategic consulting company, has announced that it is leading a consortium that has won funding to design a community scale greenhouse gas removal system. The funding is awarded by the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.
The consortium combines the hot air turbine technology from Bluebox Energy, which provides renewable energy to homes, business parks and agriculture, with Ricardo’s expertise in carbon capture technologies and 100-year track record in engine development. The consortium will develop a highly innovative greenhouse gas removal technology, which will also provide renewable heat and electricity for towns, villages and agriculture.
Dr Mike Bell, Ricardo Group Strategy Director said: “Ricardo is well known for its mission to decarbonise the global transport and energy sectors. In partnership with Bluebox Energy, this project is a great opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of applying tried and tested technology from the automotive engineering sector to remove greenhouse gases. We aim to demonstrate that this kind of carbon capture system with combined heat and power can be used to benefit local communities and bolster the UK’s reputation as a pioneer in green technologies.”
The technology works by taking sustainably sourced waste wood from domestic timber production and then processing it in three ways: producing charcoal; generating heat and power; and capturing, using and storing carbon dioxide. The technology, therefore, captures up to 95% of the carbon dioxide in the wood and supplies local homes and businesses with renewable heat and electricity. It also produces commercially marketable carbon products: the charcoal, or ‘biochar’ can be used by farmers for animal feed and to enrich soil, and the carbon dioxide can be used for low-carbon concrete.
Ricardo has been collaborating with Bluebox Energy since June 2020 to deliver innovative new low carbon technologies that support the transition to a low carbon future. This project is a further boost to Ricardo’s credentials in tackling climate change and meeting national net zero targets. Ricardo is currently actively supporting clients in Europe in innovative carbon capture technologies and has recently advised the UK Government on the potential of bioenergy with carbon capture in the UK.