Scientists from the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) research group have won the majority of a £4m fund for vital exploration into carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
After winning 70% of the fund from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), researchers from SCCS will lead several projects to develop flexible and cost-effective carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies.
Understanding how CCS technologies are evolving and how costs will come down determine when industry adopts and implements the technology
The first project, awarded with a £1.1m research fund, explores adsorption-based options for CO2 capture. SCCS aims to produce possibilities that can be adjusted easily for different applications in order to reduce overall costs by the mass production of units, rather than developing individual solutions for each system.
John Baker, Senior Technologist at Lotte Chemical, a company in the project team, backed this investigation and underlined, “Understanding how CCS technologies are evolving and how costs will come down determine when industry adopts and implements the technology.”
Secondly, the SCCS team will focus on issues surrounding amine solvents for CO2 capture, such as process efficiency, the size of equipment required and high capital and operating costs. By combining rotating packed bed adsorption and microwave-assisted regeneration, the researchers aim to enable small and flexible capture devices to be installed on industrial sites.
This project was granted a £1.2m funding from the EPSRC.
Dr Xianfeng Fan, the principle investigator from the University of Edinburgh, stated, “CO2 emissions from industry are typically from a number of small, low concentration sources with a wide range of flue gas compositions and impurity profiles. That means it’s useful to have several compact and flexible capture units, with low operating and capital costs and high efficiency.”
This research seeks to support the UK’s industry’s efforts to cut its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, after the government’s climate commitment at the COP21 summit in Paris last year.
EPSRC is the UK’s main agency for funding research into engineering and the physical sciences. Its ‘Research Challenges in Industrial CCS’ sought proposals for ‘CO2 Capture Technologies for Industry,’ and ‘Whole Systems Understanding of Industrial CCS.’ The call closed in September 2015 and originally offered £4m for between four and six projects.
Its funding provides support for emerging technologies, including CCS, and aims to deploy these technologies within the industrial sector to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from the steel, cement and fertiliser industries.