The Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Network


Posts by Katy Armstrong

Job opportunity – Research Fellow in Energy Materials-Chemistry

The University of Surrey has a three year opportunity for a full-time Research Fellow in the Electrochemical Energy Materials group in the Department of Chemistry. The position is funded by an EU Horizon 2020 consortium grant called SELECTCO2 ‘Selective Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to High Value Chemicals’.  Further details can be found here.


BBC Radio Kent – discussing transport issues

BBC Radio Kent (23/08/19)

CO2Chem Video Prize 2019

We are pleased to publicise that a new science-media prize has been announced for 2019.

The prize will be awarded in two categories for the best short form documentary showing how Carbon Dioxide Utilisation can be used as part of an approach to remove fossil-based carbon from the economy.

This is all part of an effort to reduce and then reverse the harmful effects of climate change.

Click here for further details of the prize.

Closing date is 12 noon on Friday 15th November 2019.

We look forward to experiencing your creativity.

The CO2Chem Network

New funding for CCUS – ACT 2nd Call

The second ACT Call was published on 4 June 2018. ACT is an international initiative to establish CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) as a tool to combat global warming. The call is a great opportunity for anyone who has a unique idea for developing CCUS technology.

ACT means Accelerating CCUS Technologies, and the ambition of the 13 partners is to fund research and innovation projects that can lead to safe and cost effective technology.

The first ACT Call for project proposals was published in 2016 and resulted in eight new projects that were started autumn 2017.

The second ACT Call was published 4 June 2018. The budget for the call is up to € 30 M and the due date for applications is 12 September 2018. The call focuses on the priority research directions identified by the Mission Innovation (MI) CCUS Challenge Workshop that was held in Houston in September 2017. The full recently published MI report can be found here.

Katy Armstrong from CO2Chem was one of the invited experts at the MI workshop. She said

“It is fantastic to see this call announced to coincide with the release of the Mission Innovation CCUS report. The call will enable funds to be directed towards the priority research directions that were identified in Houston and therefore accelerating CCUS research.”

Visit the ACT website for more details. The full Call text is available from this PDF file.


ICCDU 2018 Abstracts are now open

The 16th International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization (ICCDU XVI) will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from the 27th to 30th August 2018. The ICCDU XVI will be organized under the seal of the Brazilian Catalysis Society (SBCat)

The main focus of the conference is “Sustainability through CO2 Utilization” and will encompasses six topics: Thermal and Catalytic Conversion of CO2 into Fuels and Chemicals; CO2 Conversion by Electrochemical, Photochemical, Plasma-Induced and other non-Conventional Energy Sources; CO2 Conversion by Biotechnological Routes; CO2 Capture Processes; CO2 as Working Agent; Policies, Regulations, Life Cycle Analysis, Economic, Environmental and Social Aspects of Sustainable CO2 Utilization.

Abstract submission is now open at . We hope to see you there.

Good news from CO2Chem

The first bit of good news is that CO2Chem has been refunded by EPSRC for a further 2 years, until 31 August 2019. We will be appointing a new Network Manager but be rest assured Katy will still play an active role in the network.  A job spec will be issued soon for a post at Grade 7.1 with a 0.4 FTE workload (2 days).  More details of the CO2Chem 3.0 objectives and deliverables will be published shortly.
Secondly, we have been commissioned by de Gruyer publishers to write a CO2 Textbook with a CO2Chem theme. Mike North and Peter Styring will be co-editing the book. Therefore, we are looking for individual chapter contributors. Anyone interested should send their expression of interest to the CO2Chem email address ( This should include the list of potential authors, title of the chapter and a brief summary of contents. We will then begin to build the book around those responses.


Carbon8 Systems secures Queen’s Award

Carbon8 Systems, the Kent-based world leader in the permanent capture of carbon dioxide using industrial waste and contaminated soils, has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2017.

The company, formed in 2006 and a spin-out from the University of Greenwich, has successfully put its patented Accelerated Carbonisation Technology (ACT) into commercial operation to create the world’s first truly carbon-negative aggregate.

The award will help Carbon8 Systems achieve its vision of creating a global portfolio of waste treatment plants that make a significant contribution to preserving the environment through the permanent capture of waste carbon dioxide (CO2).

Carbon8 Systems’ ACT technology combines CO2 gas with industrial wastes, such as cement dusts, steel slags, oil shale ash, incinerator ash or paper ash, and contaminated soils to form new products. They can then be used as carbon negative construction materials by the building industry, thus protecting natural resources, removing the waste from landfill and promoting sustainable construction. ACT was developed by Professor Colin Hills, Technical Director of Carbon8 Systems and Dr Paula Carey, the company’s Managing Director, in the School of Engineering and Science, at the Medway campus of the University of Greenwich.

Announcing receipt of the award, Dr Paula Carey, said: “The Queen’s Awards are recognised around the world and provide customers with confidence of a company’s commercial and technological edge. “Having successfully commercialised ACT for one specific waste stream in the UK, we are now working with some of the largest businesses in the world, including HeidelbergCement, Shell, Lafarge, Saint Gobain and ArcelorMittal, to commercialise ACT throughout Europe, North America and Asia”.

Carbon8 Systems has been at the forefront of promoting carbonation as one of the most effective carbon dioxide utilisation (CCU) technologies to help manage carbon dioxide emissions; with contributions to the UN GEO6 report, the Global Carbon Initiative (GCI) report, and several reports to the UK government. The company is also a founding member of the European Association for Carbon Dioxide Transformation (ASCOT).

In 2010, Carbon8 Systems licensed the technology to Carbon8 Aggregates, who then built the world’s first commercially operational ACT plant at Brandon in Suffolk, supported by investment from Grundon Waste Management. A second ACT plant opened at Avonmouth, near Bristol in 2016, and a third plant, in Leeds, has recently been granted planning permission.

Professor Hills added: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the technology which mineralises carbon, gives wastes value, and is a unique example of innovative UK low-carbon technology. “Being acknowledged globally for our innovation will now spur us on to translate this into successful international trade deals, and support sustainable construction around the world.”

The Carbon8 Systems team will receive its award from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent and attend a royal reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by Her Majesty the Queen later in the year.

For more information see

Re-using carbon dioxide could provide a boost to the Scottish Economy says new study

A new report published by the University of Sheffield outlines how the re-use of carbon dioxide (CO2) could help Scotland shift to a more sustainable and circular economy.

The report titled ‘Actions required to develop a roadmap towards a Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Strategy for Scotland (2016)’, was commissioned by Scottish Enterprise to provide an overview of whether the re-use of CO2 could hold potential for Scotland and to recommend a number of actions to develop the sector.

The CO2 emissions from Scotland are predominantly from the use of fossil fuels from industrial sectors such as Oil and Gas, Paper and Wood and energy from waste. In previous years these large emitters produced 10 million tonnes per year, of which 4.3 million tonnes were identified in the report as having potential for capture.

Interest also lies with significant levels of biogenic CO2 which is released as a by-product of the fermentation of malted barley in the Scotch Whisky sector – estimated to be in the region of 500,000 tonnes each year.

The study suggests that the Grangemouth region is the location most suited to create a CO2 utilisation hub on a large industrial scale. It is the largest manufacturing region in Scotland and host to ten of the largest CO2 emitters.

However, the report makes clear that the development of the CO2 re-use sector should not be seen as a substitute for the development of a Carbon Capture and Storage sector.

The principal author of the study Dr Grant Wilson from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield commented;

“For most countries and policy makers around the world, carbon dioxide is viewed only as a problem that needs to be controlled. However, with the ongoing development of novel technologies and processes for the re-use of CO2 it is also starting to be viewed as a potential resource that could be exploited.”

“This report identifies that Scotland has a unique combination of key advantages and a real opportunity to explore and develop its carbon dioxide resources. It is also important to note that it is one of the first countries in the world to even consider the creation of a roadmap for the re-use of its carbon dioxide, in essence to view CO2 as a resource.”

“This provides a very powerful message in terms of Scotland’s belief in considering all available options to decouple its future economic activity from emissions.”

The report presented a case study with a potential to be scaled up to a £500m market, sustaining 600 new jobs and a new Scottish export by utilising innovative UK technology to convert the estimated 500,000 tonnes of distillery sector (biogenic CO2) into inorganic fertiliser.

The development of this technology could be of interest to Scotland as a way to help decarbonise part of the agricultural sector through the introduction of inorganic fertiliser that is not derived from fossil fuels. The Scottish Government recently published their latest Climate Change Plan and Energy Strategy for consultation, which mentions carbon dioxide re-use and carbon capture and storage as areas of potential development.
Although the University of Sheffield report found that Scotland holds a number of key advantages to develop a carbon dioxide re-use sector, there are several areas of uncertainty that would benefit from more detailed analysis.

CO2Chem Seedcorn Grants 2016

Apply now for CO2Chem Seedcorn Funding if you are based in the UK

CO2Chem Seedcorn grants give funding for pump-priming investigations which will lead to a grant proposal and ideally a research paper. All applications should demonstrate a clear pathway for this to be achieved. Grants must be led by a UK University but collaboration with industry is encouraged.

The maximum grant  size is £8000. The funding comes directly from CO2Chem. Funding can be spent on salaries and equipment/resources costs. For 2016/2017 we have seven grants of up to £8000 available for work to be done between Oct 2016- April 2017.

The application process is simple, download the Seedcorn application 2016 and return it by 31st August 2016. You may attach additional information as needed. Applicants will be informed of the outcome by the end of September.

More details about the grant and the assessment criteria can be found on the application form. Please contact with any questions

Former BP Executive Joins Global Effort to Capture and Utilize Carbon

Former BP Executive Joins Global Effort to Capture and Utilize Carbon
Dr. Issam Dairanieh to Lead Innovative Effort to Convert CO2 into Commercial Products
SAN FRANCISCO – Dr. Issam Dairanieh, the former head of the corporate venture capital team at BP, will lead an ambitious new initiative focused on converting carbon emissions into valuable commercial products, the CO2 Sciences’ Board of Directors announced today.
Launched this January in Davos at the World Economic Forum annual meeting, The Global CO2 Initiative and its innovation arm, CO2 Sciences Inc., were created to realize the ambitious goal of capturing 10 percent of global CO2 emissions and transforming them into valuable products. By harnessing market demand for products that capture and reuse CO2, this worldwide initiative aims to catalyze substantial economically-driven change that reuses the increased amounts of CO2. There are many products that can be made using captured CO2, including cement, aggregates, carbon fiber, plastics and fuels, among others.
“Creating bold solutions for one of the world’s most pressing challenges requires innovative leadership, which is why we are thrilled to have Dr. Dairanieh join our team,” said Bernard David, Chairman of the Initiative’s innovative research and development platform, CO2 Sciences Inc. “Issam’s extensive expertise in both research and development of emerging technologies and in commercialization make him uniquely positioned for this role.”
Dr. Dairanieh brings over 30 years of experience in technology assessment, development, deployment and investment to The Initiative.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to harness the power of commercial markets to reuse global CO2,” said Dr. Dairanieh. “We estimate that converting CO2 into products like construction materials, fuels, and carbon fiber has a market value of $800 billion – 1.1 trillion annually, achievable by 2030. Supporting and accelerating the variety and scale of CO2-based products turns a liability into an asset. In my new capacity as CEO, I look forward to working to catalyze innovative research in carbon capture and reuse by granting $100 million per year for ten years to scientific research.  Simultaneously, we will work with investment funds, joint ventures and corporations to invest in companies to enable them to grow market demand for CO2-based products.”
Since 2006, Dr. Dairanieh has conducted strategic studies on emerging clean energy technologies providing insights and prospects on business opportunities for BP’s Alternative Energy division. In 2007, Dr. Dairanieh joined BP Ventures and wrote an investment thesis on carbon conversion that lead to investing in three leading companies in this arena. Then in 2010, Dr. Dairanieh took on building and leading the U.S. venture team for BP Alternative Energy and then became the international head of the corporate venture capital team.
“The Global CO2 Initiative is taking on the grand challenge of developing real-world solutions to reduce our carbon emissions,” said former U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, a member of the Initiative’s Global Advisory Board. “Dr. Dairanieh is well positioned to undertake this ambitious and critically important effort that will have a direct impact on climate change.”
“Developing carbon capture and utilization technology will play a crucial role in the global effort to reduce the atmospheric carbon burden and tackle climate change,” said Thomas Lovejoy, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and University Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy department at George Mason University. “The Global CO2 Initiative is leading the work to scale and commercialize these critical technologies. Their ability to bring together the worlds of science, business, technology and finance is unparalleled.”
“I am excited about this approach by The Global CO2 Initiative that recognizes the central role industry can and must play in solving this most pressing global challenge. Those companies and entrepreneurs that embrace the many opportunities for innovation in this space will have an opportunity to participate in creating and growing new large scale markets. The Global CO2 Initiative will provide an outstanding forum to better understand significant growth opportunities in context of both existing and new businesses,” said Dr. Harold Schmitz, Chief Scientific Officer for Mars, Incorporated.  
About The Global CO2 Initiative:
Launched in January at the World Economic Forum annual meeting, The Global CO2 Initiative was created to realize the ambitious goal of capturing 10 percent of global CO2 emissions and transforming them into valuable products.
CO2 Sciences, Inc., the Initiative’s innovative R&D platform, is structured to aggressively catalyze research and development in carbon capture and use by granting up to $100 million per year for ten years to many qualified research applicants throughout the world.
In parallel, the Global CO2 Initiative will accelerate the commercialization of CO2-based products and services. It will partner with investment funds, joint ventures, foundations, individuals and corporations to invest in companies to grow market demand for CO2-based products.
For more information, visit and follow the the Global CO2 Initiative on Twitter: @reuseCO2.