Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry visited the University of Edinburgh last week to meet scientists and tour the facilities involved in world-leading carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) research.
Ms Perry was in Edinburgh to launch the UK Government's new CCUS action plan aimed at accelerating delivery of the technology as a key part of the UK’s climate action. During her visit, she was interested to hear how the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO₂), was first identified by Joseph Black, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh in the 18th century.
CCUS technology removes CO₂ from emissions and prevents it entering the atmosphere by storing it securely underground or by finding beneficial uses for it.
The day before, at an international CCUS summit, the Minister had also confirmed UK Government funding, alongside Scottish Government and industry partners, to match funding from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facilities for the Acorn project in north-east Scotland. Acorn offers a viable route to initiate a CCUS industry in the UK and will form the basis of a UK CCUS cluster.
On Thursday, Ms Perry was welcomed by Professor Jonathan Seckl, Vice-Principal Planning, Resources and Research Policy and SCCS Director, Prof Stuart Haszeldine. She then toured research facilities at King’s Buildings to meet academics from the Schools of GeoSciences and Engineering to find out more about the research underpinning the commercial delivery of CCUS.
The Minister met with Rebecca Bell, SCCS Policy and Research Officer, who helped to coordinate the visit, Dr Katriona Edlmann, whose work focuses on understanding how CO₂ behaves when it is injected into rocks to ensure secure storage, and Dr Maria-Chiara Ferrari, who researches cost-cutting pre- and post-combustion carbon capture for power plants, industrial plants and natural gas purification. Ms Perry also met Prof Simon Harley at the NERC ion microprobe laboratory, one of only two in the UK, which provides nanoscale analysis of materials for science and industry.
Ms Perry said: “The UK is setting a world-leading ambition for developing and deploying carbon capture and storage technology to cut emissions. It shows how determined all countries are to unlock the potential of this game-changing technology that representatives from across the globe gathered this week in Edinburgh. The time is now to seize this challenge to tackle climate change while kickstarting an entirely new industry.”
All photos: Callum Bennetts/Maverick Photo Agency
|Dr Maria-Chiara Ferrari shows Energy Minister Claire Perry the university's working scale model of the CCS chain|
|The Energy Minister with Rebecca Bell, SCCS Policy and Research Officer and Professor Jonathan Seckl, Vice-Principal Planning, Resources and Research Policy|
|Dr Katriona Edlmann describes her work on CO2 storage to Energy Minister Claire Perry|