UKCCSRC Knowledge Exchange Conference – Welcome and Opening Keynote (ECR Meeting Fund)

Ibrahim Kadafur (Heriot Watt University) shares his takeaway from the Welcome and Opening Keynote talks at the UKCCSRC Knowledge Exchange Conference 2023.


In a pivotal gathering of minds, the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Community Network+ (UKCCSRC) Knowledge Exchange Conference took place from September 6th to 7th, 2023, at the esteemed University of Sheffield. This two-day conference brought together a diverse assembly of thought leaders, researchers, industry experts and government representatives, all with a shared commitment to addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our time: mitigating carbon emissions.

The conference was marked by enlightening presentations and vibrant discussions, revolving around critical facets of CCS, including carbon capture technologies, transportation and storage solutions, policy frameworks and a visionary glimpse into the future of CCS.

The welcome was delivered by Jon Gibbins, UKCCSRC Director and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Jon then introduced Mohamed Pourkashanian the Head of Energy Institute, also from the University of Sheffield.

In his welcome note, Prof Pourkashanian informed the attendees about the University of Sheffield having four institutions, the Energy Institute being one of them, which captures a ton of CO2 every day using the solvent method. Mohamed also talks about other methods of CO2 capture that the institution is currently researching which include DAC, BECCS, CO2 Capture Rotating Packed Bed and supercritical CO2 Heat Exchanger.

Mohamed Pourkashanian welcoming everyone to the conference and talking about the Energy Institute

Afterwards, a keynote speech was delivered by Ruqaiyah Patel, the Head of Decarbonising Industry and the Environment at EPSRC, part of UKRI. Ruqaiyah talked about the Government’s commitment towards net zero and beyond, through the provision of funds to individuals and research institutions. Ruqaiyah also stressed some of the objectives of UKRI-EPSRC which include building a green future, accelerating a green economy, tackling the last 20% of emissions, powering UK science and property, investing in people, places, ideas etc.

Ruqaiyah Patel delivering the opening keynote

A Platform for Knowledge Exchange

The conference served as a vibrant platform for knowledge exchange, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of carbon capture and storage. Attendees delved into the latest advancements and innovations, sharing their expertise and insights to collectively chart a path toward a sustainable and decarbonized future.

Key Themes and Highlights

Carbon Capture Technologies:

Leading experts from academia and industry unveiled groundbreaking advancements in carbon capture technologies. Innovations ranged from novel solvents and materials to more efficient capture processes. One standout presentation introduced a cutting-edge modular carbon capture system with the potential to revolutionize emissions reduction in various industries.

Transportation and Storage Solutions:

Delegates explored the intricacies of transporting and storing captured carbon. Presentations highlighted the expansion of CO2 transportation infrastructure, such as pipelines and shipping technologies. Additionally, discussions emphasized the importance of identifying secure geological formations for long-term carbon storage.

Policy Frameworks:

Government representatives engaged in constructive dialogues regarding policy frameworks and incentives to drive CCS adoption. Discussions centred on creating a conducive regulatory environment, incentivizing industry participation and fostering international collaboration in CCS research and development.

The Future of CCS:

The conference concluded with a visionary look into the future of CCS. Thought leaders outlined ambitious projects and initiatives aimed at scaling up CCS efforts to tackle global emissions effectively. Attendees left with a sense of optimism, recognizing that CCS holds immense potential as a key component of the transition to a sustainable energy landscape.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

One of the most significant takeaways from the conference was the importance of cross-sector collaboration. CCS is a complex challenge that necessitates the cooperation of academia, industry and government to reach its full potential. The conference provided a fertile ground for forging partnerships and synergies that will drive meaningful progress in CCS.

A Call to Action

As the conference ended, it left attendees with a resounding call to action. The imperative to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change has never been more urgent. The insights gained from the Conference have illuminated a path forward, where collaboration and innovation will be our greatest allies in achieving a sustainable, decarbonized future.

In Conclusion

The Knowledge Exchange Conference was an unequivocal success. It brought together the brightest minds in the field, fostering cross-sectoral collaboration and inspiring a collective commitment to address the challenges of CCS. As we move forward, armed with newfound knowledge and a shared sense of purpose, we are one step closer to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.