The evening networking dinner at the end of the first day of the spring UKCCSRC biannual meeting of 2017 proved to be a lively event, allowing the attendees to mix and connect over a very well received meal. In fact, many opportunistic diners enjoyed the menu so much that they helped themselves to the spare dishes left by colleagues that couldn’t attend! UKCCSRC director Jon Gibbins employed his usual trick to mix up the delegates during the evening meal, laying down rules for diners to move from table to table throughout the meal, mixing amongst their fellow CCS researchers, and building new conversations and breaking barriers that would have otherwise insulated the sub-groups of the very diverse field of CCS. Geologists, computational modellers and combustion experts mixing over the common mission of the UKCCSRC; to pursue the development of sustainable CCS projects in the UK.
The after-dinner speech was given by Rodney Allam MBE, owner of NET Power LLC and one of the key figures involved in securing the 50 MWth Allam power cycle demonstration plant, located in Houston. The Allam power cycle boasts potential efficiency ratings exceeding 50% of the thermal input, while also capturing all of the CO2 in situ. The cycle is clearly a very impressive development for economically viable CCS, and the demonstration plant marks a key milestone in the deployment of technology that may well bring about a future without carbon emissions. During the speech Rodney outlined his journey that brought him to his current prominent position, and highlighted the importance of good fortune and the correct partners in driving and developing innovation. While it sometimes feels that good fortune is hard to come by in the current climate of CCS development in the UK, the biannual meeting has demonstrated that many good researchers are active in the field, and the evening’s networking was surely the perfect place to develop those important partnerships to drive our innovation forward.