At a Glance

This page provides an at a glance summary of the landscape around Carbon Sequestration and Storage, and the ESKTN's interests, activities and plans in this area. Please get in touch to discuss anything that catches your eye. 

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Carbon Sequestration and Storage
ESKTN Lead Specialist: Jenni McDonnell
 
Definition

Carbon sequestration and storage is the deliberate manipulation of the environment to combat or counteract climate change. They are technologies which remove CO2 from the atmosphere in an attempt to avoid climate tipping points which would otherwise be triggered by the emissions that are being produced.

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UK Opportunities

The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions: The UK has agreed greenhouse gas emissions targets for 2020 and 2050 and is committed to their delivery.
- The carbon market: Future offsetting products may include soils and wetlands, as well as forestry projects.
- Obligatory offsetting: The development of mandatory carbon emission offsetting schemes.
- Soil quality and land remediation: Increased soil carbon storage may result in increased soil quality and therefore the ability to meet future food and bioenergy demands.
- The utilisation of waste materials to produce energy, syngas, bio-oil and heat, avoiding landfill issues
- The increasing price of fossil fuels will lead to the greater use of natural materials (e.g. Bioplastics) .

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Barriers

- Lack of evidence: More funded research is required to assess the amount of carbon which can be sequestered and for how long it can be stored.
- Technology cost: The high capital cost of technology, such as pyrolysis, and its implementation.
- Land use pressures: More food and bioenergy required in the future could result in less land for woodlands, wetlands and to produce crops for material conversion.
- Lack of funding by government and research councils.

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Example Impacts

-  Organised an event with NCCCS which brought together 25 academic institutions, 21 businesses and a government department to discuss the potential environmental impacts of CCS operations.

- Conducted interviews on behalf of DEFRA to gather opinion on the feasibility and sustainability of biochar in growing media.

- Instigated business to business collaborations associated with biochar. Instigated business to academia collaborations associated with air capture.

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KPA Diagram
Other KTN Links
Energy Generation and Supply, Biosciences,
Chemistry Innovation,
Materials, Financial Services, Modern Built Environment
 
Key Players

Businesses - United Utilities, Shell, BP, Virgin Management, E-on, EDF, Rolls Royce, Caterpillar, GENeco, South West Water, Carbon Gold, Oxford Biochar, G's, Carbon8, Cquestrate, Novacem.
Universities / Research Institutes

Edinburgh, Oxford, Cranfield, Lancaster, Southampton,  Plymouth, Rothamstead, Nottingham, Aberystwyth, UEA, SAC, Newcastle, Sheffield.
Agencies - NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, Natural England, Carbon Trust, UKCCSC, NNFCC, Forestry Commission, BGS, NCCSC, Sustainable Uplands, ETI.

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Recent KTN Activity

Publications - Biogenic carbon sequestration report (ESKTN/NERC); Potential environmental impacts of CO2 leakage (ESKTN/UKCCSC); Biochar in growing media: A sustainability and feasibility assessment (ESKTN/UKBRC/DEFRA).
Key meetings - Oxford Geoengineering, CO2Chem, Algal Bioenergy SIG
Roadmaps and business case - Ongoing
Inputs to Policy -  Input into the DECC CCS roadmap, Input into LWEC Geoengineering roadmap.
Other - New Negative Emission Technologies group on Connect to promote the work around air capture, biochar, BECCS, enhanced weathering and ocean iron fertilisation.

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Planned Activity

- Development of a Geoengineering community - Negative Emission Technologies (NET) group on Connect including a networking event.

- Developing a roadmap for algal bioenergy technologies as part of the Algal Bioenergy Special Interest Group.

- Co-badging an event with Oxford Geoengineering on the potential environmental impacts of NET, March 2013.

- Co-badging an event with the UK Biochar Research Centre on biochar and the food industry, March 2013.

- Organising an event for DECC to gather feedback on their new carbon assessment tool for bioenergy feedstock, March 2013.

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