What is CCUS?
Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is group of technologies designed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere from coal and gas power stations as well as heavy industry including cement and steel production.
Once captured, the CO2 can be either re-used in various products, such as cement or plastics (utilisation), or stored in geological formations deep underground (storage).
Why is it important?
There is consensus amongst international fora that CCUS is the most valuable technology in a low carbon energy portfolio to fight climate change – that if CCUS is not developed and deployed, the costs of meeting ambitions climate targets will more than double.
- The International Energy Agency forecasts that the technology will contribute over 16% of the total global CO2 emission reductions required by 2050.
- Without CCUS, the cost of meeting UK climate targets could double by 2050, according to the Energy Technologies Institute.
- The United Nations (UN) has forecast that without CCUS, efforts to meet global climate targets will be 138% more expensive.
- The UK CCS Cost Reduction Task Force calculated that significant cost reductions could be delivered through better engineering, and the development of so called “second generation” capture technologies.
- Utilisation of the captured carbon dioxide is also an emerging sector.
- The UK Government is currently investing c£100m in feasibility and engineering studies for two projects – Peterhead (led by Shell) and White Rose (involving Drax). The Government will then take decisions in early 2016 on whether to invest c£900m to support total construction costs of over £2bn, plus further operational support. These two projects represent the “phase one” of CCS deployment in the UK, with “phase two” already under discussion.
Our expertise & activities
- We are a founder member of the UK CCS Research Centre.
- We manage and operate the national CCS testing facilities (known as PACT), with links to sister facilities and expertise at Nottingham, Edinburgh, Cranfield and Imperial College London universities.
The purpose of PACT is to support and catalyse industrial and academic R&D in order to accelerate the development and commercialisation of novel technologies for carbon capture and clean power generation. Bridging the gap between bench-scale R&D and large-scale industrial pilot trials.
- We are the lead UK institution in the International CCS Test Centre Network.
- We host the UK Centre for Carbon Dioxide Utilisation (CDU) and manage CO2Chem – the world’s largest networking and research community for academics and industrialists interested in CO2
- We are a partner in the national PhD training centre for CCS (known as a Centre for Doctoral Training).
Detailed research areas
- Post-combustion capture
- Oxyfuel combustion
- Next generation capture technologies
- Biomass co-firing
- Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling
- CO2 transport in pipelines
- CO2 utilisation in products
- CO2 measurement and monitoring technologies
Key people (A-Z)
Prof. Ray Allen
Professor of Control of Particulate Environmental Emissions
Dr Solomon Brown
Lecturer, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Dr Kevin Hughes
Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr Janice Lake
Independent Research Fellow, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
Prof. Lin Ma
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dr Bill Nimmo
Reader, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr Siddharth Patwardhan
Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Prof. Mohamed Pourkashanian
Head of University Energy Research
Professor of Energy Engineering
Prof. Peter Styring
Director, UK Centre for Carbon Dioxide Utilisation
Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry