Carbon Utilisation

Carbon dioxide utilisation (CDU) is an alternative and possible complement to CCS. CDU takes CO2 from point sources and converts it into commercially valuable products: bio-oils, chemicals, fertilisers and fuels. Our work on Carbon Capture and Utilisation in the Green Economy, led by the University of Sheffield, provides a technical and economic assessment of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) as a partial alternative to geological storage, by converting CO2 into commercially viable products such as bio-oils, chemicals, fertilisers and fuels.

CCS delivers one-fifth of the lowest-cost GHG reduction solution in 2050 (Source: OECD/IEA, 2009)

The Smart CO2 Transformation (SCOT) project is focusing on the recycling and utilisation of CO2 through its transformation into valuable products via chemical or biological technologies. In addition to reducing net CO2 emissions this approach brings the benefit of reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources. What the research is attempting to catalyse is the perception of CO2 as an efficient resource, not a waste.

Overall, the coordination of efforts among the European (UK, Netherlands, France, Belgium and Germany) consortium will enable SCOT to:

1). Define a strategic European research agenda aimed at developing new breakthrough solutions and market applications

2). Attract additional EU clusters, regions and investors to participate in multi-disciplinary research programmes and collaborative actions

3). Propose structural policy measures to favour the transition to a new European society based on the paradigm of 'CO2 as a resource', significantly improving the EU's overall competitive position and environmental performance on the international stage.

CLCF and the University of Sheffield are currently focusing on the completion of a socio-economic analysis to identify availability and market price of inputs to the CO2 recycling processes (CO2 emissions and carbon free electricity); carbon intensity of the various CO2 recycling technologies;carbon footprint along the successive steps of the transformation value chains and market demand/price for final outputs i.e. products generated by CO2 recycling. Both CLCF and the University of Sheffield will be undertaking an analysis of the regulatory measures and constraints that will impact on the development of CO2 recycling such as CO2 emission quotas and the ETS. The result of this will be a menu of recommendations to lift such constraints and develop a favourable environment for CO2 recycling.

For further information contact Peter Styring, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, University of Sheffield

Latest news

9th September, 2014
New nuclear event at British Science Festival
14th July, 2014
Energy storage report launch at Chatham House
11th July, 2014
Joint CLCF and University of Birmingham article in The Conversation