The Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Network


Posts by Katy Armstrong

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.

ICCDU 2016 Abstract Submission is open

iccdu 2016 Logo white background

Abstract Submissions Open Now

The 14th International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization will be held at the University of Sheffield, UK from the 11th -15th September 2016.  The  ICCDU is the premier scientific conference on CO2 utilisation research and  provides a multi-disciplinary forum on recent innovations in fundamental and applied aspects of carbon dioxide utilization.

We are now accepting abstract submissions for ICCDU 2016. The conference will have 3 broad themes and we welcome abstracts in the following areas:

  • CO2 insertion any processes in-which CO2 is inserted i.e. polymerisation, mineralisation.
  • CO2 splitting any process in which CO2 is split, i.e. electrochemistry, plasma, photochemistry.
  • Enabling technologies i.e. carbon capture, LCA, CO2 utilisation in the circular economy, hydrogen production for CO2 utilisation, energy integration, whole systems approaches.

Abstracts should be submitted using the attached and then sending it to

Closing date for abstracts is 29th February 2016

For more information on the conference visit

Response to the UK £1bn CCS competition being axed

The UK Government has announced it is axing its GBP1 billion competition to develop “carbon capture and storage” technology on power stations.

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange on 25th Nov 2015, the Government said the GBP1 billion funding for the scheme – which aims to develop technology which can capture the polluting carbon emissions from fossil fuel power stations – was no longer available.

The decision means the competition, which had two bidders – the White Rose scheme in Yorkshire and the Peterhead scheme in Scotland, cannot proceed on its current basis, the Government said.

Following the announcement, Prof. Peter Styring, Chair of the CO2Chem Network, released the following statement:

“This came completely out of the blue. The timing was strange given that COP21 starts in a couple of days. However, it is not completely surprising given a similar pattern for CCS across Europe. The problem has always been that CCS treats CO2 as a waste that needs disposal and waste treatment incurs a cost. We have been working for a long time on Carbon Dioxide Utilisation (CDU) through the EPSRC Grand Challenge Network CO2Chem ( of which I am Director. The basis of CDU is that CO2 is treated as a commmodity, a single carbon feedstock. This ultimately leads to a commercial product that will yield a profit. Sunfire and Covestro (formerly Bayer Materials Science) are both using CO2 to produce synthetic diesel and polyurethane foams respectively. CRI in Iceland is producing methanol at profit. Urea has for a long time been a sink for CO2. At Sheffield we are taking that one step further by making urea from CO2 and renewable hydrogen, with no fossil-derived chemicals at all.

What is clear is that while the S has gone from CCS we will still need the CC in order to produce pure feeds of CO2. So there is hope, and uniquely profit, at the end of the tunnel.”

Prof Peter Styring is the Chair of the EPSRC Grand Challenge Network CO2Chem and Director of the UK Centre for Carbon Dioxide Utilisation at Sheffield. He receives grant funding for CO2 Utilisation but not storage from EPSRC, BBSRC, EC, Natural Scotland. He has co-written the Horizon Prize in CO2 Reuse for the European Commission and Industrial CCUS for DECC/BIS as a consultant.

ICCDU 2016 will be hosted by CO2Chem

We’re are really pleased to announce that CO2Chem in partnership with the University of Sheffield and the Co2Forum will be hosting the 14th  International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilisation, (ICCDU). The conference will be held from the 11th-15th September 2016 in Sheffield within the University of Sheffield’s new Engineering building, the Diamond.


Following on from the success of the 2015 conference in Singapore, we plan for ICCDU 2016 to focus on translating CO2 utilisation research into industrial reality and further bring together the academic, industrial and government communities in the field of Carbon Dioxide Utilisation.

We are excited to be hosting the conference for its first visit to the UK and we are expected a large attendance from CO2Chem members. Abstract submission will open soon and you can follow updates on our regular blog at


CO2 Utilisation PhD Positions available

Swansea University’s College of Engineering, in association with Sêr Cymru, invites applications for two fully-funded PhD studentships.

PhD Position in Materials for CO2 capture
This study will advance on previous findings and be focused on the design, preparation, characterisation, and application of new materials for CO2 capture. Particularly, novel solid sorbents with improved CO2 capture capacity, selectivity, regeneration efficiency and recyclability will be developed for clean energy production.
PhD Position in Catalysts for CO2 utilisation
The objective of this study is to develop materials and processes for the valorisation of CO2. In particular, new catalysts and related apparatus will be designed, prepared, and applied for the photo and/or electrochemical conversion of CO2 to added value products, such as chemicals and carbon-based fuels.

This research, development, and innovation work will be carried out in the new facilities of the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) of Swansea University. The goal of ESRI is to “build the bridge to a sustainable, affordable, and secure energy future through the discovery and implementation of new technology.” The development of novel materials for CO2 capture and conversion technologies strategically integrates within this concerted effort. These scholarships are funded by Sêr Cymru.

To apply for these studentships, please send a CV and a covering letter outlining your suitability for the project to: Dr Enrico Andreoli:

Candidates should have a first class or upper second class honours degree in engineering, mathematics, materials science or chemistry
The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £14,562 p.a.
Additional funds will be available for research expenses e.g. conference attendance, fieldwork.
These positions are open to all, but please note that only UK/EU tuition fees will be covered by the scholarship. International students are welcome to apply, but will be required to pay the difference between the UK/EU fee level and the international fee level.

New Funding for UK Carbon Capture and Storage and Utilisation Innovation

On 27 November 2014, DECC is making available additional funding for CCS research, development and innovation. This is part of DECC’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF) Phase 4 Competition with £5M for projects in Financial Year 2015/16, with up to £2.5M prioritised for CCS and related projects. Read the announcement here and details of this funding opportunity here.

We will hold a workshop to outline how the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Phase 4 Competition works and give potential CCS applicants the opportunity to network with others. The workshop will focus on the CCS element of the competition. Priority will be given to industry applicants whose projects are in CCS and related technologies.

To register for this event, please email:

New Carbon Dioxide Utilisation textbook written by CO2Chem members

We are very pleased to announce that Carbon Dioxide Utilisation: Closing the Carbon Cycle has been published by Elsevier. This book is a comprehensive journey through carbon dioxide utilization technologies, applications, and perspectives. The authors are all members of the CO2Chem network and the book has been edited by Peter Styring, Alessandra Quadrelli and Katy Armstrong.

Carbon Dioxide Utilisation: Closing the Carbon Cycle explores areas of application such as conversion to fuels, mineralization, conversion to polymers, and artificial photosynthesis as well as assesses the potential industrial suitability of the various processes. After an introduction to the thermodynamics, basic reactions, and physical chemistry of carbon dioxide, the book proceeds to examine current commercial and industrial processes, and the potential for carbon dioxide as a green and sustainable resource.

While carbon dioxide is generally portrayed as a “bad” gas, a waste product, and a major contributor to global warming, a new branch of science is developing to convert this “bad” gas into useful products. This book explores the science behind converting CO2 into fuels for our cars and planes, and for use in plastics and foams for our homes and cars, pharmaceuticals, building materials, and many more useful products.

Carbon dioxide utilization is a rapidly expanding area of research that holds a potential key to sustainable, petrochemical-free chemical production and energy integration.

Mike North wins RSC Green Chemistry Award

We are very pleased to announce that CO2Chem co-Chair Professor Mike North has received the 2014 Green Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for his  internationally leading research on the use of carbon dioxide as a feedstock for chemical synthesis.

Congratulations Mike.

Register now for EPSRC Energy Resilient Manufacturing Call – short deadline!

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council would like to invite applicants to participate in a funding initiative to explore the potential of Energy Resilient Manufacturing. The concept of Energy Resilient Manufacturing is to reduce, through systems, strategies and technology, the exposure of the manufacturing industry to risks in the future supply of energy, either by:

  • Reducing the need for energy as an input to the manufacturing process, or
  • Increasing the resilience of manufacturing to uncertainty in energy supply. There will be up to £3 million available for this call to fund a number of small, feasibility-style projects (up to £300K and 18-months duration) that help develop innovative, exciting ideas on energy usage in manufacturing..

Given the speculative nature of the opportunity, the peer review process will consist of two separate interview stages; the first stage being a ‘concept audition’ and the second stage resembling a Big-Pitch style of extended panel interview. Applicants should register their intent to participate in the first stage by completing the registration form by 16:00 on 4 April 2014.

Please note that applicants are limited to one audition per person. Further applications will be rejected.

Please note that there are a limited number of spaces for each of these auditions. Whilst we will attempt to enable all potential applicants to attend the audition day and location of choice, if demand is significant we may need to refer to the applicant’s reserve choice or operate on a first-come, first served basis.

More details at

Applications invited for Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader in Energy Engineering at Imperial College

Applications are invited for a Lectureship/Senior Lectureship/Readership, to be held in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London.

The Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London is consistently recognised as world-leading, heading the ranking list in the last three UK Research Assessment Exercises, in 1996, 2001 and most recently 2008.

We attribute our success to the wide range of skills and expertise of our students and staff. Our research interests range from the microscopic to the megascale and we have expertise in mathematical analysis and modelling as well as in experimental investigation and measurement. Much of our research is collaborative and cross-disciplinary within and across departments and faculties, as well as with other Universities, and Industrial partners both in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

Major long-term funding by Qatar Petroleum and Shell International through the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC, is enabling Imperial College London to expand its research into the cleaner use of fossil fuels – aimed in particular at improving the energy efficiency of oil and gas recovery closely coupled with reducing greenhouse gas emissions through advanced carbon storage technologies.

We are now inviting applications for a Lectureship/Senior Lectureship/Readership, to be held in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The successful applicant will have a proven world-class research track record and have preferably already demonstrated expertise in some aspect of Chemical Engineering relevant to the storage of carbon dioxide in underground reservoirs and have the capability to build up an innovative research activity. There is a strong preference for candidates who carry out experimental research, although the ability and interest to collaborate with the world-class modelling teams within QCCSRC, developing new approaches to fluid property prediction and flow in porous rocks from pore to reservoir scale, would be an advantage.
You will be expected to pursue your own research interests, to contribute to the teaching and administration in the Department and to be active and take on an academic leadership role in the activities of QCCSRC. Exciting opportunities exist for evaluation of engineering applications in a field environment in Qatar, to work closely with scientists and engineers in Shell International and Qatar Petroleum and also for research collaboration with academic institutions in Qatar. The Lecturer will also have the opportunity to contribute to the multidisciplinary Energy Futures Lab and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change.

Please direct any informal enquiries to the Programme Manager, Dr Iain Macdonald, by email to
The advert and and job specification can be downloaded here: QCCSRC Lecturer Advert      JD-PS QCCSRC Chem Eng Lectureship Jan 2014_IAM