A number of innovative research projects involving teams from the Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS) partnership were showcased at the 13th Annual APGTF Workshop held in London last week, where funding body EPSRC urged universities across the UK to apply for a share of £350 million on offer for doctoral training in priority areas, including CCS and clean fossil energy.

The two-day event, hosted by APGTF, the Coal Research Forum and the UK CCS Research Centre, brought together experts from academia, research, industry and government to explore progress being made in key areas of CCS research and development as well as the opportunities and challenges facing the sector.

One of the aims of the workshop was to provide a forum for researchers to showcase the variety of collaborations making good progress in "future generation" CCS technologies - those expected to come online in the longer term - and "next generation" technologies, which are moving closer to commercialisation.

During the first day of presentations, Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS director, described the role of managed water production in enhanced oil recovery and gave an update on the storage potential of the UK's North Sea as a result of more extensive evaluation work.

Jerry Blackford, of Plymouth Marine Laboratory, outlined results from the QICS project – being carried out by a consortium of research institutes, including SCCS partners Heriot-Watt University and University of Edinburgh – which has been testing the impact of CO₂ leakage on the marine environment.

Progress being made by the Innovative Gas Separations for Carbon Capture (IGSCC) project, a University of Edinburgh-led initiative headed by SCCS' Professor Stefano Brandani, was outlined by Paul Fennell of Imperial College.

Other SCCS projects highlighted during quick-fire project round-ups included the Gas-FACTS programme run by a consortium of universities, including Edinburgh, which is exploring post-combustion capture for gas power plants, and the £23.5m joint industry project with Costain, Next Generation Capture Technology for Coal, which aims to design, build and test a pre-combustion capture pilot capable of capturing up to 95% of CO₂ emissions by mid-2015.

Coriolis Metering Technology in CO₂ Pipelines, more commonly known as Project COMET, also featured in the presentations. Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer of Heriot-Watt University is leading a research team, in collaboration with Interconnector, to assess the suitability of metering technologies for use in CO₂ transport pipelines.

Matthew Billson, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) also touched on two projects involving SCCS partners, which have received a share of DECC’s £20m Innovation funding pot – the RECAP initiative between Costain and the University of Edinburgh, and OxyPROP, in which Costain and Edinburgh University are joined by the University of Leeds.

For future research programmes or initiatives in need of funding, ESPRC chief executive Professor David Delpy reminded delegates that the £350m CDT call, announced in February and which closes to outline proposals in April, would be “the single biggest commitment to funding research until 2022”. He also underlined the importance of industry involvement, a point that was heavily underlined by presentations made during the workshop.

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