University scientists join UK's largest carbon capture and storage research partnership

University scientists join UK's largest carbon capture and storage research partnership

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) researchers from the University of Aberdeen have joined Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS).

SCCS is the UK’s largest grouping of scientists engaged in the research and development of the climate mitigation technology. 

The University of Aberdeen brings further expertise to the partnership of the British Geological Survey, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, strengthening the Scottish network of scientists engaged in high-level research at every stage of the CCS chain.

The announcement comes during a week of renewed focus on CCS in the north east. The Peterhead CCS demonstration project at a gas-fired power station secured design funding from the UK Government. The interdependency of CCS with the north-east offshore industries was also highlighted in the Wood Review of future oil and gas activity on the UK Continental Shelf.The co-operation of companies could create new ways of using industry knowledge to enable the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) – for example, using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery could develop CCS infrastructure without the need for public subsidy.

Strategic research between the University and other SCCS partners is already under way. Economist Professor Alex Kemp is part of a team designing new fiscal incentives to encourage the use of CO2 captured from power plants to produce up to three billion barrels of additional oil. Dr Dubravka Pokrajac is improving methods of CO2 injection at storage sites, while Dr Clare Bond is studying reservoir seals, which prevent CO2 movement after injection. The Aberdeen team also includes Professor Fred Glasser, who is developing cements that utilise CO2. And Professor John Paterson is examining ways to improve storage legislation.

Dr David Vega-Maza, of the University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering, said: “The CCS research community at the University is delighted to join SCCS, a dynamic and vibrant research partnership that supports the development and commercialisation of CCS as a climate mitigation technology worldwide. We want to thank our colleagues from British Geological Survey, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh for their welcome and support. Aberdeen’s offshore resources offer a perfect platform for CCS technologies. We look forward to working with our SCCS partners on realising a low-carbon future.”

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director and Professor of CCS at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We welcome the University of Aberdeen to the SCCS partnership. They bring invaluable, proven expertise to the group and will expand the cutting-edge research already under way on all aspects of CCS, from capture engineering and geoscience to social perceptions, law and petroleum economics. It is an exciting time for CCS in the north east, particularly with news that the Peterhead CCS Project has secured design funding. The project will be a pathfinder for the development of a CCS industry,and will draw on the extensive research and engineering expertise that exists in Scotland.”