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Costain teams up with top universities on CCS

Costain has been awarded £348,000 by the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) as part of a £20million programme to search for innovative ways to reduce the cost of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

The sum was granted as a result of a competition held by the government to search for new ideas to further harness the potential of carbon capture technologies supporting its climate change agenda.

There were 13 successful projects.

Costain will collaborate with two top universities in the project to develop two innovative technologies which aim to reduce the cost of low-carbon electricity generation through reducing the cost associated with carbon capture.

In conjunction with the University of Edinburgh, Costain will develop a new concept for the design and construction of cheaper absorber columns to be used for post-combustion carbon capture in coal and gas power plants.

Also with Edinburgh and with the University of Leeds the company will develop an improved oxyfuel capture technology, studying innovative carbon dioxide separation and compression technology.

The Edinburgh project’s lead academic researcher, Dr Hannah Chalmers, said: “The DECC £20 million CCS Innovation Competition is providing an exciting opportunity for SCCS to continue developing cost effective CO2 capture solutions with industry.  

“SCCS, through the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, is looking forward to working with Costain on delivering new capture solutions that can facilitate the successful deployment of CCS in the UK and globally, by improving efficiency and reducing costs.”

CCS is the process of trapping fossil fuel energy emissions and transporting and storing them underground, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and prevent the increase of global warming.

The UK Government is supporting CCS as part of its strategy to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions and achieve its 2050 climate change targets.

A study carried out on behalf of DECC by AEA Technology (2010 – URN 09/738) estimated that CCS activity in the UK would sustain about 70,000 – 100,000 jobs by 2030, with about 50% of these being new jobs in the design, manufacture and construction of capture, transport and storage facilities and infrastructure.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, said: “Carbon Capture and Storage is a huge opportunity for our world class industry.

“Through the projects we have selected, pioneering companies and universities will be able to create new jobs and expand their markets.”

Costain’s research and technology manager, Bryon Livesy, said: “I am delighted that Costain has secured these two projects from DECC’s Innovation competition.

“We look forward to working with our partners at the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds to develop new technologies which can play a key role in reducing the costs of carbon capture and storage in the UK.”

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