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The UK is turning CO2 into baking soda

Words by Smiley Team

The UK is taking recycling to the next level as they launch a project to turn carbon into baking soda.

The country's largest carbon capture project yet, it will take place in a giant facility in Northwich, England. Built by Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE), it aims to capture up to 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and is currently on track to store 36,000 tonnes.

The captured carbon dioxide will be transformed into sodium bicarbonate, after being purified and liquidised. This sodium bicarbonate will then be used in dialysis, pharmaceutical medication, and to produce baking soda.

As the plant is on UK soil, it will provide jobs to thousands of UK workers, without contributing to the climate crisis. 

“What we can’t have is effectively decarbonisation of the UK by deindustrialisation,” said Martin Ashcroft, who spoke on behalf of TCE. “Effectively, we are making our own raw material.”

While carbon capture and storage (CCS) is something that has been attempted and endorsed in the UK before, this plant in Norwich is the first time it has come to fruition.

Martin says that the £16.7 million project, assisted by a government grant of £4.2 million, needs to be replicated, and is hoping the government will back two more plants in the near future.

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