CCS from Industrial clusters and their Supply chains (CCSInSupply)

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Engineering


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.

Planned Impact

The impact of this project will come through:

1. Engagement with the UKCCSRC Network: This network is central to the dissemination strategies of multiple CCS projects across the EPSRC and other funding sources portfolios. Full integration is planned with routine reporting and feedback provided. This group includes all academics engaged in CCS research in the UK and multiple industrial stakeholders in CCS research.

2. Communication and feedback from the External Advisory Board (EAB): An EAB has been developed with the view of embedding a direct and high impact route within the project structure and delivery itself. The board will meet every six months to discuss the outcomes and offer constructive feedback on the project. Each member is a leader in Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) in terms of either a) international policy through the IEA/ZEP, b) being an ICCS cluster technical lead, ICCS or CCS demonstration manager, CCU data manager, supply chain leader, or internationally leading academic.

3. Producing high-quality publications and presenting at high impact conferences: The project partners are aiming for six publications and six conference presentations including two plenary. These will be through journals such as Science, Applied Energy, Applied Thermal Engineering, Energy, Energy Conversion and Management, and Renewable Energy.

4. Direct interaction with the ICCS clusters, technologists, supply chain and consumers: One PDRA is planned to be embedded within the Tees Valley cluster (hosted by NEPIC) to facilitate more informal interaction between the project and regional cluster members and the supply chain. On top of this a more formal outreach and data collation programme is planned using conventional face-to-face meetings, focus groups with the supply chain (business-to-business customers) and consumers (focus groups and online surveys). When appropriate, the project including its objectives and results achieved to that point will be presented. It is expected that this two-way engagement will enrich the data and information provided and facilitate maximising project impact.


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Description This grant is reported on via EP/N024567/1.
Exploitation Route This grant is reported on via EP/N024567/1.
Sectors Agriculture

Food and Drink



Description This award (EP/N024567/1) was only active for a few weeks with the /2 code, so I've used the same description below. Beyond conventional academic outcomes, the research project has yeilded the following output and applications: Awards The team won an commended entry at the Rushlight Awards hosted at the Royal Society in 2019. The panel considered it transformational in terms of its impact on the circular economy. The panel who selected the entry were well placed in this sector. Media The outcomes of one research paper ( attracted interest from BBC Radio 4. The team were consulted on an episode of "39 Ways to Save the World" which discussed low carbon fertilisers. I was interviewed for Global Energy and published an article on the research in its "10 Breakthrough ideas in energy for the next 10 years". This was a very high profile international event and featured in a session which featured Alexander Novak (Russian Deputy Prime Minister), Oleg Aksyutin (Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee - Head of Department 623, Gazprom), Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi (Minister of Energy of Qatar), Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud (Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia), Sama Bilbao y Leon (Director General, World Nuclear Association), Andrei Ryumin (General Director, Rossetti), Angela Wilkinson (Secretary General, World Energy Council), Victor Khmarin (Chairman of the Management Board - General Director, RusHydro), Rae Kwon Chung (2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate), Tareck El Aissami (Venezuela's Vice President & Minister of Industries and National Production & Minister of Petroleum. Policy Niall Mac Dowell (one of the Co-Is) is currently seconded into BEIS into thier CCS team. He's providing technical advice to government and policymakers on the details of technical delivery of industrial CCS. Roskilly is the academic lead for the Teesside Industrial Cluster and offers technical advise to this team including shaping thier decarbonisation strategy. In 2019, Smallbone worked with Department for Transport (DfT) colleages in delivering the frameworks for its Hydrogen strategy, a major aspect was hydrogen (& ammonia) production using CCS. This included hosting 6 secondments in upskilling DfT staff and shaping policy development within the department.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Energy
Impact Types Societal

Policy & public services

Description Durham University Impact Acceleration Account Award
Amount £27,390 (GBP)
Organisation Durham University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2019 
End 03/2020