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Scientists renew calls to fast track carbon capture and storage

Scientists from ELEGANCY are holding a conference following their first year of working to fast-track carbon capture and storage in Europe by 2020.

Taking place on 8 November in Brussels, the ELEGANCY conference will host speakers from the project who will present initial findings from their first year of operation and announce plans for the second year, in addition to a selection of invited speakers from external stakeholders. The conference is an opportunity to understand the mission of the project and the types of challenges its modelling tools can provide solutions to.

With partners from five countries, including Imperial College London, SINTEF, Total, the European Gas Research Group and Equinor, ELEGANCY is developing innovative, cutting edge solutions on both a systems and component level to address challenges in carbon dioxide (CO2) transport, injection and storage. The countries represented in the project are the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

By linking carbon capture and storage (CCS) with the production of hydrogen for energy, ELEGANCY’s goal is to make it more economical, overcoming one of the main obstacles to major investment by industry and government whilst supporting the rapid introduction of hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Professor Martin Trusler of Imperial College London and ELEGANCY Project Director for the UK said: “CCS is recognised as an essential component in reducing global emissions, yet immediate up-front costs have stalled implementation by industry. By coupling hydrogen production from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage, and tapping into existing infrastructure, we are aiming to off-set initial investment costs and kickstart CCS in Europe. Eventually our aim is that our open-source modelling tools will enable countries to set-up CCS across the world, addressing the global issue of climate change.”

National case studies in each of the project’s represented countries will identify and provide solutions to implementation challenges for hydrogen-CCS systems, including identifying areas for production and storage. Additional strands of research will work to optimise these processes, and develop business cases and open-source modelling tools for industrial CCS that will enable it to be implemented on a commercial scale.

Groundbreaking research

Imperial College London is the UK lead partner for ELEGANCY, and will contribute ground-breaking new research in CO2 storage, developing an open-source modelling framework for the design and evaluation of integrated H2-CCS chains, and applying the research findings to a detailed national case study. The research will be carried out by a multi-disciplinary team led by Professor Martin Trusler, Professor Nilay Shah, Dr Ronny Pini (Department of Chemical Engineering), Dr Sam Krevor (Department of Earth Science and Engineering) and Dr Niall Mac Dowell (Centre for Environmental Policy).

Funded by Accelerating CCUS Technologies (ACT), the project has the support of governments in five countries, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the UK. Brian Allison, Assistant Head of CCUS R&D and Innovation for BEIS, said: “This is an exciting and ambitious project which aims to support the development of CCUS technologies in the UK. It demonstrates the power of international collaboration not only among scientists, but also governments and policy-makers.”

Professor Nilay Shah, ELEGANCY WP4 Leader and Head of Chemical Engineering at Imperial added: “National governments are increasingly recognising the need for hydrogen as a large-scale, low-carbon energy vector that will complement electricity and other low carbon liquid/gaseous fuels in a decarbonised society. We are leading the development of modelling tools that allow the design and analysis of end-to-end systems for hydrogen production and CO2 transport and storage, which will support the national case studies and help to design effective, low carbon future energy and industrial systems.”