The Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Network


Posts in category Carbon Capture

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

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.

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:

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

Newcastle University Mineralisation work highlighted on BBC News

Dr Lidija Siller from Newcastle University recently presented her work on CO2 capture using  nickel nanoparticles at the Mineralisation Cluster meeting at the RSC in November 2012. The work has now been reported on the BBC news website see:

Making money from mineralisation of CO2

Michael Priestnall, CEO of Cambridge Carbon Capture Ltd and Industry Chair of CO2Chem’s Mineralisation
Cluster, has authored an article in the Carbon Capture Journal explaining what mineral carbonation is, how industry is beginning to make money out of it and why policy makers should pay attention.

Read the article here Carbon Capture Journal – Making money from Mineralisation of CO2

SPIRE Roadmap

A.SPIRE aisbl is an international non-profit association formed to represent the private sector as a partner in the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to be launched as part of the Horizon2020 framework programme.

This new association represents more than 50 industrial and research process industry stakeholders from over a dozen countries spread throughout Europe. A.SPIRE was established at a signing ceremony in Brussels on 18 July 2012, through the joint efforts of 8 industry sectors:

  • chemical
  • steel
  • engineering
  • minerals
  • non-ferrous metals
  • cement
  • ceramics
  • and water

The mission of A.SPIRE is to ensure the development of enabling technologies and best practices along all the stages of large scale existing value chain productions that will contribute to a resource efficient process industry. Through purposeful cooperation across all sectors and regions, A.SPIRE has developed a multi-year, strategic and dynamic roadmap that will address research, development and innovation activities as well as policy matters towards the realisation of its 2030 targets. The ultimate goal is to promote the deployment of innovative technologies and solutions required to reach long term sustainability for Europe and its process industries in terms of global competitiveness, ecology and employment.

The roadmap specifically mentions CCU technologies and can be downloaded from:—roadmap_final_pbp_web_ok.pdf

The USA is adding “Utilization” to Carbon Capture and Storage

The USA Energy Department is leveraging its cutting-edge research to show that not only can CCS technology help industry make fossil energy use cleaner, safer and more sustainable, it also shows promise as a method to extract more, hard-to-access and presently untapped fossil energy resources.  The Energy Department is strategically focusing the program’s R&D toward the economic “utilization” of captured carbon dioxide (CO2) for commercial purposes – evolving from CCS to Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage, or CCUS.  By putting the captured CO2 to use, CCUS provides an additional business and market case for companies or organizations to pursue the environmental benefits of CCS.


TSB Carbon Abatement Technologies Competition now open

Technology Strategy Board’s £4.5m Competition for Carbon Abatement Technologies is now open

The competition is addressing innovative solutions for the reduction of CO2 from large single point emitters, such as power stations and process industries.

There are 2 strands to the competition:

Strand 1  (£4m allocated) for Collaborative R&D projects with an element of demonstration

Strand 2 (£0.5m allocated) for feasibility studies

To download all the relevant documents and register for the competition please visit the following sites

Strand 1 (Collaborative R&D)

Strand 2 (Feasibility)

If CO2Chem can be any help in writing your application please get in touch with Katy.


Carbon Capture and Utilisation in the green economy

The Centre for Low Carbon Futures has today released a report providing the first comprehensive technical and economic assessment of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) as a viable but poorly understood option for reducing carbon emissions.

The report is a collaboration between CO2Chem, a UK research council project aimed at developing a UK community towards a sustainable chemical feedstock supply by 2050, the University of Sheffield in the UK and Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN).

Rather than treating CO2 as waste, as is the case with carbon capture and storage (CCS), the CCU process converts it into commercially viable products such as bio-oils, chemicals, fertilisers and fuels. These could replace fossil fuel based products further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improve  waste treatment. CCU includes using waste CO2 as a chemical feedstock for the synthesis of other chemicals, as a chemical source of carbon for mineral carbonation reactions to produce construction materials, and as a nutrient and CO2 source to make algae grow and supply fuels and chemicals.  However the technology is in the research and development phase, is not yet commercialised on a large scale and requires more investment to make this happen.

For more details visit CCU in the green economy