3.27 million has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as part of the Research Councils UK Energy programme, to four research projects to study the geological viability and safety of storing CO2 underground in depleted North Sea oil and gas fields or saline aquifers.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology which could help the UK government meet stringent reductions in CO2 emissions by 2050.1 This EPSRC funding for CCS research - 37 million, is part of Government's 125 million Research and Development programme into Carbon Capture and Storage.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: "Finding ways to reduce our CO2 emissions requires the latest research, especially around new technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage. The UK's world-class scientists are extremely well-placed to tackle this challenge thanks to continued investment in skills, knowledge and cutting edge projects like these."
CCS captures CO2 emissions from power stations and heavy industry instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. The CO2 is transported via pipelines then injected into porous rocks (reservoirs), from which oil or gas has previously been extracted, or in saline aquifers, and stored at depth. The CO2 is kept isolated from the rocks above by caprocks, which are less porous and, with their very low permeability, provide a 'seal'. In the UK, storage sites are likely to be sited deep under the North Sea.
All the projects will come under the umbrella of the UK CCS Research Centre, established in April 2012, to improve coordination and visibility of approximately 150 UK academics working on CCS.
Dave Delpy, CEO of EPSRC said: "These projects will help accelerate the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage, enabling the UK to maintain its world leading role in this vital low carbon technology."
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
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Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council