The centre of the chemical engineering department at Imperial College London is dominated by a cluster of stainless steel pipes stretching four storeys high. This pilot plant is part of Britain’s largest carbon capture research programme and is intended to demonstrate to students best practice in capturing and storing harmful carbon dioxide (CO2). It works like this: a similar gas to that which is exhaled by a car exhaust or domestic boiler flue is bubbled up through a chemical solution which separates and captures the carbon dioxide. This is then heated up to around 120C to release a pure stream of CO2. As the pilot plant demonstrates, the carbon can then be sequestered to stop extra greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere. If it sounds like a simple solution to the climate crisis then the reality is anything but. For decades now, carbon capture technology has been hailed as a possible panacea, but one which remains tantalisingly out of reach. The latest resurgence for the industry has come this week, with the UK Government’s new strategy to transition to net zero by 2050. Ministers are doubling down on the technology by announcing two multi billion-pound carbon capture projects in the north of England by the middle of the decade as part of its fast-track scheme to cut 20-30 million tonnes of CO2 a year from heavy industry by 2030. Given the fact that the technology hasn’t yet been deployed at scale in the UK, even supporters admit the push for carbon capture is something of a gamble on the Government’s behalf.
Telegraph 20th Oct 2021 read more »
DOUGLAS Ross was asked if he and the Prime Minister had “misled” the public on investment in an Aberdeenshire carbon capture scheme during a tense BBC interview this morning. The project, which would see emissions drawn from the North Sea and the refinery in Grangemouth via pipelines and stored in the north east facility, was in line for investment – but missed out earlier this week.
The National 21st Oct 2021 read more »