Energy 2050 joins international partners on major low carbon project

Gas Turbine

Gas turbine PACT facilities in Beighton

Sheffield academics have joined forces with other energy researchers from across Europe as part of a major new project to accelerate the development of technologies to reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions through the effective capture, utilisation and storage of CO2 (CCUS).

Over the next 3 years, the ALIGN-CCUS project will focus on the removal and transfer of CO2 from industrial processes, its conversion to valuable products such as cement or plastics, and the safe storage of CO2 deep underground.

The multi-partner ALIGN-CCUS project, which has won nearly €15 million funding from the European ERA-NET ACT fund, will look at different but interlinking areas of research that will support the delivery of large-scale carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and help transform six European industrial regions into economically robust, low-carbon centres by 2025.

According to recent data from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, (NEAA) CO2 emissions have stalled globally, but continue to present a real challenge for energy researchers. There is consensus amongst international fora that CCUS is the most valuable technology in a low carbon energy portfolio to fight climate change, and if CCUS is not developed and deployed, the costs of meeting ambitious climate targets will more than double.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Head of Energy-2050 at the University of Sheffield and Director of the PACT National Facility on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), who is the lead Sheffield academic on the programme said: “The ALIGN-CCUS project is a unique industry and academic partnership with over 35 European partners. The aim is to address the challenges of both the current and future generations of CO2 Capture technology in such a way that a chain of critical issues regarding cost and reliability of capture technology will be explored and solved.”

The Department of Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy is providing £22.99M in funding for UK project partners including the British Geological Survey (BGS), Imperial College London, Scottish Enterprise, Summit Power Caledonia UK Ltd, Tees Valley Combined Authority, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sheffield.

Professor Pourkashanian added: “The funding will enable the University of Sheffield to carry out pilot scale engineering research at PACT National facilities to test capture technology physically, with further testing by our European industrial partners to ensure the same technology will be effective on an industrial scale”.

The project will enable large-scale, cost-effective implementation of CCUS by 2025 in specific industrial regions in five European countries; Teesside and Grangemouth in the UK, Rotterdam in The Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, Grenland in Norway and Oltenia in Romania.

Professor John Ludden, Executive Director of the BGS said: “The ALIGN-CCUS project is a real opportunity to enable heavy industries to decarbonise and thereby meet the growing demands from their customers to offer greener products in the future.

“I am delighted that the BGS is leading this project for the UK, working in partnership with leading UK academic researchers and commercial partners, and our colleagues across Europe.”

For more information about the project, visit