CCS from Industrial clusters and their Supply chains – CCSInSupply

Industry is responsible for 25% of carbon dioxide emissions from the European Union with around 60% of these emissions coming from the energy-intensive chemical, petrol refining, cement, steel and cement industries. The products of these process plants are fundamental to the global economy however many of the corresponding manufacturing processes are operating at (or are close to) their maximum practical efficiency. This reduces the impact of any future efficiency improvement measures in reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions across the sector.

Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) is considered by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as the “most important technology” to decarbonise the industrial sector. This technology couples into industrial process plants, separates out the carbon dioxide and transports it to a suitable location for long term underground storage. In this way, the process plants are no longer venting unwanted carbon dioxide emissions directly into the atmosphere.

Whilst many of the key components in ICCS have been demonstrated in pilot scale projects, the deployment of a full scale system remains a challenge due to the high capital costs associated with developing the infrastructure for carbon dioxide capture, transportation and storage. One effective means to address these issues is to share the burden by developing regional clusters of industrial process plants which all feed into a common ICCS network.

This project brings together a strong academic team from Newcastle University, Imperial College and Cambridge University with significant technical support from the International Energy Agency, industrial technical experts, various CCS clusters and demonstration sites. The project will be the first of its kind to evaluate multiple potential ICCS clusters planned worldwide and assess their impact on products and consumers. It will mainly focus on a cluster planned in Teesside, UK featuring a steel furnace, ammonia manufacturing site, a hydrogen reforming facility, and a chemical plant. It will collate technical data from many of the pilot demonstrations in the United States and Europe to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the required operation of other relevant energy intensive process plants such as petroleum refineries and cement production sites. This technical data will be used to develop a set of software design tools for the planning of ICCS clusters and develop a means to optimise their operation. In addition, a robust set of economic analysis tools will be developed to support evaluation of the economics and costs associated with the technology.

The impact on the supply chain will be assessed through a comprehensive outreach and public engagement exercise. Ideas for new low-carbon products will be developed and their costs evaluated. This process will include surveys and focus groups to gain opinions and data from key stakeholders who operate in the supply chains of planned ICCS clusters. This will include regular communication with business-to-business customers right through to end-users and consumers. This will be used to gain a greater understanding of attitudes towards these potential lower-carbon products and to assess the strength of consumer pull under multiple carbon pricing/policy scenarios.