Hungary is preparing to launch a pilot carbon capture and storage (CCS) program at Pannonia Bio Zrt, business online newspaper Világgazdaság reported. Ferenc Hódos, the strategic director of Pannonia Bio Zrt, told the outlet that Hungary has the potential to become a European leader in the CCS area. While Europe is still in the theoretical and experimental stages of CCS, the U.S. has seen substantial progress, fueled by incentives such as an up to $85 tax rebate for every ton of sequestered carbon.
Pannonia Bio Zrt operates a bio-refinery in Tolna County, Hungary, which initially specialized in bio-ethanol production. Over time, the facility has evolved into a hub for a variety of bio-based technologies, including nutrition, health, biochemical, and fuel bioproducts that can serve as eco-friendly alternatives to fossil-based materials. The plant is Europe’s largest single-site bio-ethanol facility.
Current CCS technologies are expensive for most fossil carbon emitters due to the need to extract flue gas, eliminate impurities, and transport and inject the purified gas underground. However, Hungary holds an advantage due to its favorable domestic conditions. The nation’s fermentation industry has the capacity to produce high-purity carbon dioxide and the country is full of depleted gas deposits suitable for storage.
Whether the funding will come from the EU, national budget, or a market source is still to be determined.
Ferenc Hódos said the project could be completed within two years, allowing storage operations to begin by 2026. This initial project could be followed by others, leading to a network of pipelines connecting all Hungarian carbon emitters. Currently, Pannonia Bio releases around 400,000 tons of bio-based carbon dioxide annually.