30 Sep 2016 Meet C-Capture Ltd., the 2016 National Winner of Shell Springboard

Interview with Chris Rayner, Founder of C-Capture

Shell’s 2016 National Springboard winner, C-Capture has developed a new approach to capturing carbon dioxide (CO2). Founder Chris Rayner talks about the innovation and his view on the opportunity and challenges for Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) in the UK.

Set up in 2009 as a spin-out from University of Leeds’ chemistry department, C-Capture last month received £150,000 as the Shell Springboard National Winner for its innovation which removes CO2 from industrial gas streams. The clean technology company has designed novel, low-cost solvents for use in carbon capture that help ensure commercial viability.

C-Capture’s founder, Chris Rayner explains that their carbon capture technology would save up to 50% of the energy and cost needed for traditional CCS solutions.

“The most common technology for carbon capture today is through the utilisation of amines solvents – which can be very energy intensive and expensive,” says Chris. “Our patented technology introduces new amine-free solvents for CO2 capture that is significantly more efficient, and thus less harmful to the environment. We’ve essentially re-examined the chemistry process so that the engineering is significantly simpler.”

The sectors Chris has in mind for implementing CCS technology currently account for a quarter of CO2 emissions in the EU. It can be applied in a number of energy-intensive industries, from the oil and gas sector, to chemical manufacturing, as well as iron, steel and cement production. But the current hurdle for bringing the technology to market, Chris explains, is getting the proper infrastructure in place for CO2 transportation and storage in the UK.

Chris expects the UK will be ready to start taking on the task of implementing the necessary infrastructure for CCS within the next five to 10 years.

“I like to think that our society has now accepted the significant impact of CO2 emissions on our atmosphere. It is time for us to do something about it; and C-Capture has the technology ready to address the issue on a major scale once the infrastructure for transportation and storage is in place” says Chris.

Once there is an infrastructure for CO2 transport and storage, the only business challenge Chris foresees is a positive one – high demand. “If we are successful, we’ll need to grow very quickly,” says Chris.

The C-Capture team is currently focusing on deploying a separate biogas upgrading solution in the UK and Europe with several business partnerships in the works. The company’s longer term ambition will be focused on CCS.