Since 2012, the UK Carbon Capture & Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) has provided a national focal point for the UK in CCS research and development in order to bring together the user community and academics to analyse problems, devise and carry out world-leading research, and share delivery, thus maximising impact. A key priority has been to help stimulate the UK economy by driving an integrated research programme focused on increasing the contribution of CCS to a low-carbon energy system for the UK. Grant support to UKCCSRC from the UK’s research councils and government was due to end later this year.
On Wednesay 12 April, in front of an audience of about 150 researchers, academics, and industry and government representatives, Celia Yeung of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) announced that UKCCSRC has been awarded £6.1 million to continue its work for another five years. The goal for this next phase of the UKCCSRC is to ensure that CCS will play an effective role in reducing net CO2 emissions while securing affordable and controllable electricity supplies, low carbon heat and competitive industries for the UK.
“The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme recognises the significance of carbon capture and storage research within the energy landscape” she said. “The previous Centre has taken great strides over the last few years and has done well strengthening relationships within the CCS community, engaging with industrial stakeholders and policy makers, and has pursued high-quality, novel research within the research area. The EPSRC are fully supportive of CCS research and has high hopes for the new Centre to continue developing and delivering an effective, high-impact strategy for the UK.”
The Centre’s core activities for this second phase will be delivered by six of the UK’s leading CCS institutions with complementary expertise: the British Geological Survey, the University of Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, the University of Nottingham and the University of Sheffield. Investigators from other partner institutions bring specialist knowledge to the team: Cardiff University, Cranfield University, the University of Manchester, the University of Strathclyde and University College London.
Jon Gibbins (University of Sheffield), UKCCSRC Director, welcomed the Research Council’s continued funding for CCS, stating that “CCS is an area where the UK has a long-term, strategic advantage and the new support will help make sure that our industries and consumers are able to see the benefits of this in the 2020s”.
The UKCCSRC will continue to provide a focal point for coordinating national and international CCS research and to help give academic researchers access to the world-leading PACT experimental facilities (N.B. PACT’s core facilities near Sheffield are a ‘preferred research partner’ to IFRF, and Mohamed Pourkashanian – IFRF’s General Secretary and Director of PACT – is on the Management Team of the current and future UKCCSRC). In addition to its core research programme the Centre will make £1.5 million of funding available through open calls over the course of the grant for emerging research topics.
UKCCSRC’s core research themes and work packages are:
• Material development
• Pilot testing
• Pressure propagation and control
• CO2 migration and storage
• CO2 modelling software assessment
• Scoping/development of CO2GeoLab
Systems and Policy theme:
• Cross-cutting value of CCS
• Biomass energy + CCS (BECCS) within the energy system
• Social license to operate
Combined Systems and Capture theme:
• Advanced cycles
• Detailed models
• Hydrogen/power integration
• Reduced order models
Over 250 early career researchers actively participate in the current UKCCSRC phase’s research and wider activities.
For further information about UKCCSRC, please see https://ukccsrc.ac.uk/.