British CCS researchers present at SET for Britain exhibition

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Research scientists Marco Dri, Caroline Graham and Sarah Mackintosh from the Nottingham Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage (a collaboration between the University of Nottingham and BGS) presented at the SET for Britain poster exhibition on 14th March 2011, during National Science and Engineering Week. The exhibition was sponsored by Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the SET for Britain organising group of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, and hosted in the House of Commons Terrace Marquee.

The overall aim of SET for Britain is to encourage, support and promote Britain's early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers and technologists who are important to continued progress in and development of UK research and development, and ultimately of UK plc.

Presentations

Marco Dri (University of Nottingham) presented work on mineral carbonation of industrial waste materials. This recent technology can store carbon dioxide in spent materials such as ash and slag produced in power stations or steel-works and, at the end of the process, useful construction materials will be created.

Caroline Graham (BGS) presented work carried out on tracing fluid flow through low-permeability materials with nanoparticles. Since these materials act as the 'barrier' to upward migration of CO2 in potential storage scenarios, improving our understanding of the mechanisms that may lead to their compromise will aid performance assessment and safe design of these facilities.

Sarah Mackintosh (University of Nottingham) presented on porosity and permeability evolution in a North Sea sandstone during continued CO2 fluid flow. During CO2 injection and subsequent storage, it is important to understand how the porosity and permeability of the storage rocks changes to ensure that the area does not become cemented due to carbonation of minerals.

Parliamentary question

Ms Lilian Greenwood, the MP for Nottingham South, visited the exhibition to see the excellent work done by the National Centre. Ms Greenwood later raised a question of the Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, about future funding for CCS during the oral answers to questions on energy and climate change at the House of Commons. (Exerpt taken from the House of Commons publications).

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) (Lab): What steps he is taking to provide funding for further carbon capture and storage demonstration projects. [48539].

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Charles Hendry): We remain committed to providing public investment for four carbon capture and storage projects and last year announced up to £1 billion for the capital costs of the first project. Decisions on the provision of funding for further projects will be subject to receiving suitable proposals from industry and considerations on value for money and affordability. As the Chancellor announced yesterday, the funding will be provided from general taxation.

Lilian Greenwood: I thank the Minister for that response. Last week, I met young research scientists from the University of Nottingham who were undertaking exciting research into carbon capture and storage. Without detail and clarity on future projects, however, the UK could lose the opportunity to be a world leader in this vital technology, so what is the timetable and the guaranteed funding for demonstration projects 2, 3 and 4?

Charles Hendry: I would be delighted to meet the students the hon. Lady mentions because the skills in our universities form a very important part of the UK's ambition to lead in this technology. We have made it clear up front that there is public funding for projects, with capital up front, and real progress was announced yesterday.

Continued commitment

The National Centre will continue to participate in events to engage with more stakeholders, public authorities and people in general, encouraging discussions about CCS.

We would like to thank Ms Greenwood for taking the time to visit the posters presented by the member of the National Centre at the exhibition and for raising CCS awareness in the House of Commons.

Contact

Please contact Dr Caroline Graham for further information