Details of the Carbon Capture and Storage
THE UK CARBON
Dr J R Gibbins (Overall Consortium Leader)
Prof M J Blunt
Dr C Adjiman
Dr A Galindo
Prof G Jackson
Prof C Lawrence
Dr R Martinez-Botas
University of Leeds£144,954
Prof J M Kendall
Dr Q Fisher
Prof B W D Yardley
University of Glasgow£57,979
Dr Z Shipton
Dr F Gozzalpour
Dr B Tohidi
Dr P W M Corbett
University of Manchester£257,797
Dr G Strbac
Prof N Jenkins
Dr M Black
Ms C Gough
Dr S Shakley
NERC British Geological Survey£199,316
Dr S Holloway
University of Edinburgh£115,536
Prof R S Haszeldine
|University of Aberdeen£105,310|
Prof A G Kemp
University of Newcastle upon Tyne£125,312
Prof A C Aplin
Dr M Downie
Prof A Incecik
University of Nottingham£134,159
Prof C Snape
Plymouth Marine Laboratory£185,008
Dr C M Turley
Dr S Widdicombe
Mr D Lowe
Mr J C Blackford
Dr M C Austen
Dr A P Rees
University of Reading£77,520
Dr D J Fulford
Mr J E Oakey
Dr N J Simms
University of Cambridge£12,999
Prof M J Bickle
Dr D M Reiner
Concern is rising about global warming and, more recently
recognised, ocean acidification, mainly caused by CO2
released when we use fossil fuels. But it may still take a long
time to change from the current situation, where we get most of
our energy from fossil fuels, to one where we use much less energy
and get a lot of the energy that we do use from renewables and
perhaps new nuclear power stations. And it may be difficult to
replace fossil fuels for some purposesfor example, to generate
electricity when the wind does not blow enough to turn windmills.
So what are we to do if we need to make big reductions in the
amounts of CO2 from fossil fuels getting into the atmosphere
as soon as possible, but cannot reduce their use as fast as we
would like without leaving an "energy gap"? One way
to break the link between using fossil fuels and putting CO2
into the atmosphere is to capture the CO2 that is given
off when fossil fuels are burnt to make electricity or, in the
future, to make hydrogen gas that can be used as a carbon-free
fuel. The CO2 can then be injected underground by drilling
special boreholes to 1 km depth or more. Combined together this
is called CO2 capture and storage (CCS). To keep the
CO2 underground we need a porous reservoir rock, such
as sandstone, with a sealing layer of less permeable rock on top.
CCS is obviously not a final solution to climate change, but it
does give us time to do all the other, often difficult, things
required to move towards a more sustainable world. Running out
of fossil fuels is not an immediate problemthese will probably
last for at least a century morebut tackling climate change
is! It is important that CO2 stays in the ground for
at least 10,000 years. We know that oil and gas, often containing
CO2, have been trapped underground for millions of
years. This proposal looks at how the UK's oil and gas fields
might be used in the near future as well-understood places to
store CO2. This is also likely to allow more oil to
be extracted, and we will study how to make the most of this for
the UK economy. We may also need to store additional CO2
underground offshore in deep aquifers, layers of porous rock that
are sealed but didn't happen to trap oil and gas in the past and
so just contain salty water. We will look at how much CO2
the UK's offshore aquifer rocks can safely hold. There is always
a risk that some CO2 will leak into the sea from these
geological storage sites. This project will study how this might
happen, how to detect it if it does, and what effect it might
have on ocean ecosystems. But in any case, when CO2
increases in the atmosphere more CO2 dissolves in the
surface layers of seawater, making the water more acid. This work
will also show what effects this has. Ways to capture CO2
from power stations and hydrogen plants are fairly well understood,
although research is still needed to improve performance and reduce
the costs. So what we will concentrate on is how to make the best
use of CO2 capture as part of the whole UK energy system,
as it is now and as it might develop in the future. To do this
we will work closely with other groups in the TSEC programme,
particularly UKERC, and other UK and international collaborators.
CCS systems will spread across all of the UK, and offshore, so
mapping data for the project and seeing how it all fits together
will be very helpful. Because CCS has to be a bridge to new energy
sources we are particularly interested in how CCS systems can
complement renewables, for example by supplying backup electricity
or by providing a market to encourage a new biomass fuel industry.
CCS would also allow fossil fuels to be used to make hydrogen
and so help get a hydrogen economy under way. Finally, beyond
the practical, technical and economic factors it is equally important
that we understand the social and political aspects that may affect
the introduction of CCS as an option for reducinq CO2
To promote an understanding of how options for
decoupling fossil fuel use from carbon emissions through the use
of carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be used to assist the
UK in achieving an energy system which is environmentally sustainable,
socially acceptable and meets energy needs securely and affordably.
To link closely with UKERC and other TSEC projects
to ensure that the, potentially very large, role for CCS is assessed
as a fully integrated part of the whole UK energy system.
To collaborate with other CCS work, notably at
DTI, Defra and APGTF in the UK, and international groups such
as CO2NET and IEAGHG networks.
To develop an interdisciplinary UK research community
for this emerging technology. And in specific project areas.
To assess baseline lifecycle cost and emissions
of current and future fossil fuel supply chains.
To develop ways in which fossil fuels plus CCS
can advantageously be combined with biomass and wind.
To characterise technical options and costs for
H2 production from fossil fuels.
To assess performance and operating costs for
CO2 capture from power stations and other large point
To devise and assess possible CO2 collection
and injection systems for the UK. To estimate likely CO2
retention times for typical potential UK geological storage sites.
To develop and assess ways in which CO2
could advantageously be placed in UK hydrocarbon reservoirs as
an extension to extraction activities.
To reduce significantly uncertainty in previous
estimates of overall UK storage capacity in aquifers.
To set up a Geographical Information System, linked
to an economic model, to help assess different CCS scenarios.
To undertake a range of dissemination activities
including a project Web site and a CCSUK annual seminar.
To assess how CCS plant can help the UK to best
ensure real-time electricity demand is met reliably.
To integrate project results in the development
of alternative dynamic pathways through which CCS might contribute
to reaching the 60% CO2 reduction target for the UK.
To assess the present and future impact of ocean
acidification due to the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere.
To assess the environmental effects of possible
leakage from offshore and terrestrial CCS systems on affected
To explore the broader social and political implications
of, and conditions for, the implementation of CCS.