EXCLUSIVE: Scots energy consultancy advises firms to sell ‘waste’ CO2 for up to £200-tonne

Climb aboard the 'waste' CO2 value-train
Climb aboard the ‘waste’ CO2 value-train

EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News

A Scottish energy consultancy has come up with a way to monetise the value of what is otherwise value-less ‘waste’ CO2 produced by industry and commerce.

More and more manufacturing and energy businesses are finding that they are losing an opportunity by simply pumping this valuable by-product into the sky because they are simply unaware of its potential.

But, according to Banchory-based Pale Blue Dot Energy, businesses can improve performance by monetising their waste carbon dioxide stream.

A spokesman explained: “We are not talking about the EU ETS carbon trading market which has a current price currently less than £5/tonne, but a real physical market where carbon dioxide has a tangible product value as a manufacturing commodity. 

“Subject to its purity, condition, geography and volume, this CO2 could be up to £200/tonne. 

“A typical small biogas plant or malt whisky distillery could be generating and venting in excess of 5000 tonnes per annum  – that’s a potential revenue of more than £500,000 per year.  To achieve this requires evaluation, planning and careful investment.”

There is a wide range of industrial CO2 sources from power plants and cement works.  Biogas generation and fermentation operations both result in the production of relatively high purity CO2 streams which currently lie outside the EU ETS because of their biomass basis. 

Such streams are relatively simple and often cost effective to purify further using one of several established processes based upon simple skid mounted units which deliver transportable liquid CO2.

In the UK, the physical CO2 market is currently around two million tonnes per year and is worth approximately £200 million. A small number of global gas refining businesses service the bulk of this market. 

There is however significant and growing opportunity for CO2 producers both in Scotland and elsewhere to sell directly to new and emerging customers.  It simply needs an awareness of what is possible and what is cost effective.  Furthermore, the zero value to the emitter and much higher prices paid by the customer demands that these commercial opportunities are carefully assessed.

The spokesman added: “Whilst carbon dioxide commercialisation won’t address the weighty issue of climate change because of the small scale involved (current commercialisation use is around 0.5% of UK national emissions), it can help to raise the profile of the carbon dioxide issue and also add cash to the bottom line at the same time.”

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