UKCCSRC Autumn 2022 Conference ECR blog #1- Introduction and Day 1 Keynotes

Serap Ozmen (Cranfield University), Mikhail (Mike) Gorbounov (Brunel University London) and Xu Yang (University of Nottingham) describe the Welcome and Keynote sessions, on day 1 of the UKCCSRC Autumn Conference 2022.

Welcome

The University of Edinburgh hosted the UKCCSRC Autumn Conference on the 7th and 8th September 2022. It was a great chance to meet other researchers and industry professionals in the realm of carbon capture.
The conference kicked off on Wednesday with registration and lunch. Then, Prof Jon Gibbins, UKCCSRC Director, from the University of Sheffield, made a big welcome speech. He highlighted the increasing importance of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a pivotal tool to overcome climate change. Despite the past ten years of CCS development by UKCCSRC, our efforts are immense to help the UK achieve its net-zero targets in the next 30 years.

Afterwards, Prof Stuart Haszeldine, UKCCSRC Deputy Director for Storage and Director of SCCS, from the University of Edinburgh, was invited to give an introduction and welcome speech. He briefly described the history of the University of Edinburgh and shared his outlook towards the implementation of CCS. Although CCS has been developed for many years, it is still underperforming. Prof Haszeldine pointed out that only half of the currently captured CO2 has been used or stored, with the rest being vented to the atmosphere. This has been attributed to the lack of relevant regulation. Thus, even though the UK has significantly advanced the CCS field (with projects such as the East Coast industry cluster having been named the first ever CCS licensed area this year), combined efforts from all realms should be carried out altogether. He concluded that faster development of more CCS units is paramount to achieve the net-zero targets (with the UK spearheading the efforts) as well as highlighted the necessity to focus on stricter regulations (and their enforcement) in the coming years.

Keynote One

The first keynote speaker was Hannah Chalmers from University of Edinburgh and she talked about the perspectives on UK CCS. As someone who has been working on CCS for almost 20 years, she explained the improvements on the CCS projects and the UKCCSRC from her point of view as undergraduate student, lecturer, senior lecturer and reader during that time. It was great to hear her thoughts for the future of UK CCS as she highlighted that CO2 storage licensing is now possible and happening, ‘negative’ emissions and direct air capture are becoming real, and there are diversity of the sites considering CO2 capture deployment.

Keynote Two

Mr John Henderson, Senior Advisor for the combustion industry sector, from the Environment Agency, shared his insights on the current environmental regulations of CCS as the second keynote speaker. He mentioned the Best Available Techniques (BAT) guidance for the available technologies, which are aimed at preventing or minimising emissions and impacts to the environment from post-combustion carbon capture (PCCC). He also said that although this guidance is not yet a regulatory requirement for PCCC, it should be implemented as a standard and a target for further technology developments. Based on the real processes of the carbon capture pilot plants (and carbon capture and utilization plants), he shed light on the BAT guidance for PCCC in terms of CO2 purity, flexibility of operation, emissions from air pollution, energy efficiency as well as cooling system and process monitoring requirements. Finally, Mr Henderson discussed and predicted the future regulations for CCS, suggesting a potential approach for future works.

The source of BAT guidance: Post-combustion carbon dioxide capture: best available techniques (BAT) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)