Green CO₂ produced from biogas has a higher reliability of supply, and is a more sustainable product than the traditional CO₂ sourced from fossil fuel sources. In addition, capturing and utilizing this CO₂ contributes to the RHI sustainability criteria for AD plants, and can boost the bottom line with long-term offtake agreements.
The proposition is being launched by BioCarbonics, a new player in the UK CO₂ industry, to ensure continuity of CO₂ supply in a historically unpredictable industry.
“We work with biogas owners to capture and process their CO₂ stream to produce a food and beverage quality liquid CO₂ , for use by local businesses. And because we have a growing number of highly reliable plants operating around the clock, with a managed maintenance schedule, we are the only business that can offer continuity of supply to customers and no hidden surcharges,” explains Christopher Carson, BioCarbonics managing director.
“Our carbon capture model is totally unique in that we support plant owners from conceptual design through installation and start-up of their CO2 plants, and work with them to install and operate quality systems and equipment that ensures their product meets the food and beverage quality certification. We are actively seeking biogas owners who inject renewable methane into the gas grid to work with us and expand our sustainable supply model further,” says Carson.
Hereford biogas plant owner, Nicholas Layton of STL Energy, who has been working with BioCarbonics for a number of years, says there are many benefits to capturing CO₂ from biogas installations.
“Capturing this CO₂ for use in other applications is much more sustainable than directly releasing it into the atmosphere, and it helps local CO₂ users, such as food and drinks producers. The multiple plant model delivers a reliable supply chain, and the guidance and advice provided by the BioCarbonics team has been second to none. We didn’t have the expertise or knowledge required to enter into the CO₂ business on our own, and BioCarbonics gave us the support and training we needed to be able to do this successfully.
"In our sustainability reporting for the plant, the carbon capture means that the emissions effectively become negative across all of our feedstocks, and the RHI eligibility has never been in question," says Layton.
“One of the customers we work with is Westons Cider, which supplies the biogas plant with apple pomace - a by-product from apple pressing, and uses BioCarbonics’ CO₂ to carbonate its drinks, also a by-product, leading to a great circular model,” adds Nicholas.
Westons Cider has been using green CO₂ since the summer of 2019. “Before working with STL Energy and BioCarbonics, we had CO₂ supply issues. Now, from the circa 29,500 tons of cider apples we press annually, around 5,500 tons of pomace will be turned into CO₂ and used to carbonate our products,” says Maddy Spencer, purchasing Manager at Westons Cider.
“The supply is local and more reliable than previous suppliers. BioCarbonics is professional, efficient and pro-active, providing multiple sources so we never run out,” adds Maddy.
The BioCarbonics management is actively looking to find other AD biomethane to grid producers who are interested in supplying CO₂ to help grow this network.