TCE's baking soda plant in Winnington, Cheshire, is the largest single site user of CO2. ©  Tata Chemicals Ltd
TCE's baking soda plant in Winnington, Cheshire, is the largest single site user of CO2. © Tata Chemicals Ltd

Baking soda to be made with recycled CO2

28 June 2019

The UK's only baking soda producer will use the country's first large-scale carbon capture facility for manufacturing by 2021, according to Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE).

TCE has begun construction of a carbon capture and utilisation plant (CCU) at its sodium bicarbonate factory in Cheshire to recycle carbon emissions from the company's nearby power plant. 

TCE is the UK’s only producer of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, which are used as materials in the manufacture of glass, food, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. TCE is the largest single site user of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2), a key ingredient in the production of sodium bicarbonate. This is primarily used in the pharmaceutical and hemodialysis sectors.

A sustainable supply of CO2 will be secured from TCE's 96MW power generation plant in Northwich, Cheshire, and then processed and used in its nearby factory. The CCU technology purifies, and liquifies the CO2 for direct use in manufacturing.

Martin Ashcroft, managing director at TCE, said: “The CCU demonstration plant will enable us to reduce our carbon emissions, whilst securing supplies of a critical raw material, helping to grow the export of our products across the world. 

“We hope that this project will demonstrate the viability of CCU and pave the way for further applications of the technology to support the decarbonisation of industrial activity.”

The plant will be designed by TCE and a CUU technology supplier. It is estimated it will capture and produce up to 40,000 tons per year of CO2 while reducing emissions by 11%. 

Over half of TCE’s sodium bicarbonate (60%) is exported to over 60 countries, and this sustainable supply will support export growth as demand from the healthcare sector increases.

The UK government has funded £4.2m of the £16.7m cost of the CCU, the UK's first industrial-scale plant, under the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (DBEIS) “Clean Growth Strategy”, which supports innovation around carbon capture utilisation and storage.

Chris Skidmore, minister at the DBEIS, said: “Cutting edge technology to capture carbon will cut emissions as we work towards a net zero economy, while creating new jobs.”

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