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British power firm Drax eyes solution to drinks CO2 shortage

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British power firm Drax eyes solution to drinks CO2 shortage
FILE PHOTO: A customer poses for the camera with a pint of beer in a public house in Leeds, northern England October 13, 2008. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis/File Photo   -   Copyright  Nigel Roddis(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British power generator Drax <DRX.L> is trialing technology to help it capture its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which could then be used to keep the fizz in the country’s drinks, it said on Friday.

Earlier this year Britain’s biggest brewers were hit by a shortage of CO2, which is used to put the bubbles in beer, due to production shutdowns at chemical factories that produce it as a byproduct.

The power industry meanwhile is working to reduce or find uses for emissions of the greenhouse gas to prevent it entering the atmosphere and to help the country meet its climate targets.

Drax said its Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage project will be the first of its kind in Europe and could help to secure future access to CO2 for Britain’s breweries and pubs.

“This pilot not only has the potential to ensure the UK meets its climate targets, but for the carbon captured to also help to keep the nation’s beer from going flat,” Drax chief executive Will Gardiner said in a press release.

During a six-month trial due to start in the next few months, the company plans to capture the CO2 produced by generating power at one of its biomass units.

This could produce enough CO2 to provide fizz to 32,000 pints of beer a day – equivalent to 5.7 million over the course of the six-month project, Drax said.

“We hope that these discussions with Drax Group and the potential to increase access to a new source of CO2 in the UK will help ensure that a shortage does not happen again,” Brigid Simmonds, CEO of the British Beer & Pub Association, which has been in discussions with Drax, said in the statement.

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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