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Heriot-Watt Part of €15 million Funding to Consider Prospects for Grangemouth as Carbon-Capture Centre

 New European research to reduce and reuse CO2 in industrial processes

Researchers across Europe have come together to accelerate the development of technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. Over the next 3 years, a large project will focus on the removal of CO2 from industrial processes, the conversion of CO2 to create valuable products, such as methanol, and the safe storage of CO2 deep underground.

The 'Accelerating low carbon industrial growth through CCUS' project (ALIGN-CCUS), will enable researchers to work with industry partners to address large-scale CO2 capture, storage and usage (CCUS) in specific industrial regions throughout Europe. This will be achieved by integrating CO2 capture with industrial processes, reducing the cost of transport and identifying the least-cost options for CO2 storage into and beyond the 2020s. ALIGN will combine the results from each of these objectives to deliver actionable blueprints in each region, in which CCUS enables low-emission industries, through geological storage or through utilization of CO2.

The Department of Business, Energy, & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recently published a UK Clean Growth Plan, which recognises CCUS as a key part of the UK’s decarbonisation strategy. The ALIGN project will support this plan by defining the best routes to CCUS. The project will enable large-scale and cost-effective implementation of CCUS by 2025 in clusters of major industrial activity 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.  

The British Geological Survey (BGS) will lead the UK project contribution, focussing on the provision of large-scale storage networks and UK case studies to reduce the cost of CCUS deployment at the Teesside and Grangemouth industrial clusters.

BEIS is funding the UK partners from the BGS, Imperial College London, Scottish Enterprise, Summit Power Caledonia UK Ltd, Tees Valley Combined Authority, University of Edinburgh, Herriot Watt University and the University of Sheffield.

Prof. John Ludden, Executive Director of the BGS says: "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."   

The ALIGN-CCUS project is one of three that have begun at the BGS and will take place over the next three years. The combined project totals are in excess of €2M and will engage the expertise and knowledge of CCS and laboratory staff at the BGS offices in Edinburgh and Nottingham

At Heriot-Watt, ALIGN is led by Dr Eva-Sanchez Fernandes part of the Heriot-Watt Research Centre for Carbon Solutions, Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer and Dr Susana Garcia and is supported under the ERA-NET Co-fund initiative. It builds upon strengths within Heriot-Watt that include research to accelerate the technological innovation needed for the wider deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage. Dr Eva Sanchez Fernandez, Associate Professor in the RCCS, says: “Understanding the broader implications to the environment and the economics of amine based capture technologies is one of the priorities at RCCS. The ALIGN-CCUS project will be key in facilitating this understanding and promoting best practices in the design of cost effective carbon mitigation options”.

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