International CCS parallel session at Cardiff Biannual - Part 1

Hello everyone! I’m Antonio Salituro and I'm about at finishing the second year of my PhD in the Institute for Material Research of the School of Chemical and Process Engineering (SCAPE) at the University of Leeds.

My project concerns the preparation of cost-effective CO2 sorbents which could be used as post-combustion capture technology alternatively to the chemical absorption with liquid amines in a coal-fired energy power plant. In order to do this, I’ve been synthesizing activated carbons starting from inexpensive and sustainable sources (e.g. biomass). Also, I'm studying the CO2 sorption performances of the final carbons under simulated post-combustion conditions.

Thanks to the Early Career Research fund I awarded by UKCCSRC, I was able to participate in the “CCS and Industry” meeting held in Cardiff on 10th and 11th September 2014.

It was a perfect occasion to visit such a nice city as you can see from the wonderful bay shown in the picture below!

My attendance at this meeting has been crucial for the remaining part of my PhD since I managed to talk to specialists in my field from all over the world who were very available and gave me lots of precious suggestions in order to refine my work. Additionally, I enriched my knowledge about the overall CCS chain and its application on a real world scale. This has allowed me to better address my research to meet the industry requirements.

One of the most interesting sessions was focused on giving an idea of the state of the art of the CCS systems in different international contexts.

Dianne Wiley - Australia

The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) is one of the world's leading collaborative research organisations focused on carbon dioxide capture and geological sequestration. There are more than 150 leading researchers working in this organisation and lots of participants (e.g. Shell, Total etc.) interested in their projects.

Among the various research activities presented, Prof. Wiley, who works as capture program manager for CO2CRC, pointed out adsorption as one of the future options to develop a new efficient capture technique. In particular she enlightened the importance of assessing the working capacity of the adsorbents, thus testing them under real world conditions (e.g. presence of water, low concentration of CO2).

Jia Li - China

The UK-China CCUS Centre supports the development of large-scale demonstration project. It also establishes working groups/programs, communicates with key stakeholders involved in the projects and supports academic and industry collaborations in oil and gas, clean fossil fuel.

A Dr Jia Li’s collaborator described the project concerning Haifeng power plant. The latter is composed by four units (4x1000MW), which are already present, plus other four which will be built according to the future plan. Chinese Resources organisation will realise a CCS Demo project for the units 3 and 4. The capture system is due by May 2015 and should be able to capture 1 million tonne of CO2! What is more, a storage site with a really large capacity has been identified offshore in South China sea.

Jan Brouwer - Netherlands

Dr Jan Brouwer is the Program Director of the Dutch CCS research program CATO2 in which a consortium of nearly 40 partners cooperate. CATO is an abbreviation for CO2 Afvang, Transport en Opslag (CO2 capture, transport and storage). The original programme (Phase1, CATO) implied an initial research activity and small scale experiments. CATO2 (Phase 2) followed this up by further research in terms of CCS and small demonstrations.

Unfortunately, as Dr Brouwer highlighted, it is likely that future developments (i.e. larger demonstrations and commercial deployment) will never be accomplished due to the lack of funds!

Awaiting for the next edition of the CCS meeting, I really want to say thanks to UKCCSRC for giving me the chance to take part in this amazing event which contributed to enhance my professional profile in terms of carbon capture and storage.