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Energy Technologies Institute

03 Jun 2010 02:06:48

ETI CCS Mineralisation Project



The Energy Technologies Institute is to carry out a detailed study of the availability and distribution of suitable minerals across the UK and technologies that could be used to economically capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These may arise from distributed sources such as small power plants and industrial facilities as well as large power stations.

The leading technology for carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves capturing carbon dioxide gas then storing it underground in oil and gas reservoirs and other porous areas.


The ETI previously announced the UK Storage Appraisal Project, to improve the estimates of how much practical potential geologic storage space is available around the country, since there remains a risk that potential sites may turn out to be insufficient in volume, uneconomic or impractical.

CCS by mineralisation has been identified by leading researchers as a promising additional method of sequestering CO2 emissions.

Minerals and CO2 can react together to permanently store CO2 as a solid carbonate product, which can then be safely stored, used as an aggregate or turned into useful end products such as bricks or filler for concrete. The project team will explore these and other opportunities for value added use of the resulting carbonate products.

A consortium led by Caterpillar and including Shell, the British Geological Survey, and the Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Nottingham, was selected to carry out this £1M project.

The study will provide a detailed assessment of the distribution of suitable materials together with an estimate of how much of these could practically be used and ultimately provide an indication of the economics of CO2 capture by mineralisation.

It will also identify the technologies that could be developed to meet the UK requirements and determine the viability of mineralisation compared to traditional CCS approaches.

ETI Chief Executive Dr David Clarke said: "Much of the research in this field has concentrated on the chemistry involved. The ETI is looking at the opportunity to develop system solutions and identify the necessary technologies.

"We have already announced a project looking at the potential storage capacity for CO2 under the sea but mineralisation provides a possible alternative solution.

"Mineralisation potentially provides a permanent storage method, the CO2 could be converted into a useful end product and it could provide an opportunity to use waste materials to capture the carbon dioxide or be used in areas where local geological storage is not available.

"The ETI is involved in projects across the whole area of heat, power, transport and infrastructure and this is another example of us addressing these complex issues to deliver large scale engineering solutions."

Caterpillar’s director of research, John Amdall commented that "CO2 mineralisation permanently stores CO2 and has the potential for use in both large and small applications. Mineralisation also offers the potential of dramatically reducing the energy requirements and infrastructure requirements for CO2 capture and storage, thus making it a cost effective possibility for CCS.

" We are excited with this opportunity to work with ETI and the other consortium members to demonstrate the economic benefits of CO2 mineralisation."

The ETI brings together the complementary capabilities of global industrial groups – BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell - in a unique approach with the UK government. Operating at a national strategic level it is delivering large scale complex engineering solutions for the UK energy system helping to meet 2050 challenges.

Last year it announced 15 projects worth over £53m in offshore wind, marine, transport, CCS, energy storage and distribution and distributed energy.

The ETI also developed its unique Energy System Model to help identify those technologies capable of having the greatest impact through to 2050 under a range of different demand scenarios.

Already in 2010 the ETI has announced a further £3.5m of projects in offshore wind, distributed energy and transport.

Notes to Editors

1. The Energy Technologies Institute is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK Government. The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power and transport. For more information, please go to: www.energytechnologies.co.uk

2. The ETI’s six private sector members are BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. The UK Government has committed to match support from four further Members. The ETI’s public funds are received from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). These organisations, together with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), are engaged directly in the ETI’s strategy and programme development.

3. The ETI will accelerate the deployment of affordable, secure low-carbon energy systems from 2020 to 2050 by demonstrating technologies, developing knowledge, skills and supply-chains and informing the development of regulation, standards and policy.


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