What is BECCS?
BECCS stands for Bio Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage. It is an emerging technology that has the potential to go beyond traditional climate change mitigation, and instead actually achieve negative emissions, i.e. net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
How does it work?
Negative CO2 emissions are generated by combining bio-energy production (biomass fuel-power stations, pulp mills and bio-fuel plants) with carbon capture and storage technology, allowing carbon dioxide to be captured from the atmosphere and remitted back underground.
The road to commercialisation
The Natural Step is pleased to be collaborating with Biorecro, a Swedish clean tech company that is commercialising BECCS technology with the vision to reverse climate change by returning to pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere (i.e. below 350 ppm).
Various partners from Scandinavia and North America are involved in a wider collaboration to establish the business models, infrastructure and industry networks needed for commercialisation.
- Listen to a podcast with Henrik Karlson, President and CEOBiorecro, recorded by Think Globally Radio.
- Learn more about Biorecro by visiting their website: http://www.biorecro.com/
Sustainability Analysis of the Technology
The Natural Step has conducted a baseline assessment of BECCS technology using the The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development and its underlying scientific sustainability principles.The assessment is conducted from the perspective of asking does the technology have a role in a sustainable society or act as a stepping stone to get us there?
The results are promising and The Natural Step is conducting ongoing work with Biorecro to provide a third party view on their processes.
The assessment is part of The Natural Step’s involvement in the international research alliance, Real Change. Enquiries about the study or the research program can be directed to Jonas Oldmark at The Natural Step.
Pilot Demonstration Study
A conclusion from the investigation is that further research is needed to road-test the sustainability credentials of the technology as it scales. The Natural Step is therefore supporting a demonstration project that will allow for further action research and documentation of the results within the Real Change research program.
A public seminar on BECCS technology will take place on May 18th, 2010 in Stockholm, hosted by SIANI. The seminar will provide insight into BECCS technology, its scientific background, sustainability potential, current status of development and implementation and case studies from around the world. Event details are posted here.
Interested parties can contact Jonas Oldmark at The Natural Step International to learn more about the technology, The Natural Step’s assessment or our collaboration with Biorecro.