Welcome to IDRIC 2024’s Decarb Showcase

You can find out more information about the exhibits taking part here.

IDRIC24 Posters can be viewed in the main conference area:

University of Hull – A comprehensive assessment of postcombustion capture options

University of Southampton – Accelerating the Scale-up of Next-Generation Fuels from CO2

University of Lincoln – Determine Optimum Pyrolysis Condition for Biochar to be used as Metallurgical Coal Replacement

University of Oxford – Synergistic process for carbon capture, waste heat recovery and hydrogen production

University of Bath  – Bio-Balance – MIP 8.5

Controlled-environment agriculture in agro-industrial systems, where carbon dioxide, heat, and other wastes are recovered or recycled, has potential to be an environmentally friendly approach with economic feasibility. However, such approaches need careful exploration to ensure that environmental and economic benefits are maximised. Techno-economic, and life cycle assessments were applied to evaluate the synergy of producing crops (tomato and hemp) and recovering industrial wastes (e.g., heat and carbon dioxide) in glasshouses with robust uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. For each crop, two scenarios were compared, linear scenarios evaluated the use of raw materials with no waste recovery whereas circular scenarios captured industry flows and reused or recycled them in the glasshouse- avoiding raw materials consumption. Circular practices had a net benefit on the global warming potential for both crops, capturing up to 50,000 kg/y of CO2 in crops biomass and providing competitive product prices. The analysis showed that circular operational conditions can reduce, by almost half, the break-even product selling prices and sequester up to, approximately, 500 kg CO2eq./m2 of glasshouse if compared to linear systems. Future investments in this outstanding strategy to supply the United Kingdom’s market demand of tomatoes could lead to a low-cost product and negative CO2eq. emissions by mitigating the importation of these products.

British Geological Survey, University of Manchester, Heriot Watt University  – Enabling hydrogen storage near industrial clusters: enhancing confidence in porous rock storage – MIP 7.4 & 7.8

Durham University – University of Lincoln – CPD module development on industrial heating and cooling – MIP 4.5

Funded by IDRIC, colleagues at Durham University and the University of Lincoln have developed an eLearning CPD training course that introduces the topic of decarbonising heating and cooling systems to achieve net zero emissions.

It has been designed to appeal to a diverse audience, including those interested in decarbonising their respective industries or sectors, individuals involved in designing innovative technical solutions, and participants with a broader curiosity about the subject. The globally oriented course draws heavily from a UK historical perspective, but the technical solutions offer global application.

Participants will gain insight into the challenge of achieving net zero heating and cooling, accompanied by a historical overview explaining why current technical solutions have largely evolved towards natural gas. The course covers a range of technologies, starting with existing solutions like the vapor compression heat pump, solar collectors, and natural gas, and progressing to more research-oriented topics such as adsorption heat pumps, which have not yet gained widespread commercial adoption.

The course is hosted by RPS training and can be accessed via this link.  https://learninghub.rpsgroup.com/course/view.php?id=816

Equality diversity and inclusion

IDRIC is committed to embedding and promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in our industrial clusters and research institutions.

This exhibit demonstrates the project “You can’t be what you can’t see”

A media showcase of IDRIC individuals who are currently involved in or supporting industrial decarbonisation research

University of South Wales – VFASENSE, a real-time monitor to optimise VFAFactory and PHA production

The VFAFactory project investigates processes which convert carbon rich biowaste such as sewage sludge and food waste and C1 gases e.g. CO2 and CO in blast furnace gas into carboxylic acids. VFAs are a valuable precursor compounds for material and chemical manufacture for example polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), an eco-friendly alternative to plastics. VFAs are currently manufactured from fossil fuel-based feedstocks. This alternative method of producing VFAs uses pilot scale technologies developed by SERC for the biorefining of waste streams, utilising a microbial conversion process combined with state-of-the-art separation technologies.

In the IDRIC VFAFactory and VFA2PHA projects an online volatile fatty acid analyser (VFASense) was used to monitor the production of VFAs in the biorefining technologies BIOACE and COACE developed by SERC. The real time data measurement of individual VFAs is important in optimising the production of both VFAs and PHA. At this exhibition, we are showcasing VFASense, capable of automated VFAs analysis in real time. This instrument enables the precise determination of individual VFA species within the range of 1-5000 mg/L. Additionally, a fully automated solids separation unit delivers solids-free samples to the VFA analyser. VFASense has been designed to fit within a box trailer for ease of use at industrial scale anaerobic digesters and other biorefining processes.

University College London – The political economy of Sunset vs. Sunrise industry strategies – MIP 5.5

Foundational to our societies, industries have a crucial role to play in enabling transitions. Firms have to seek stable income streams in an uncertain world, balanced with the need to be innovative in developing the products and infrastructures of the future. The decline of carbon-intensive practices is interlinked to socio-economic stability, and governments seek to balance objectives including decarbonisation, economic growth, and equitable societal impacts.

In this simulation model created with the System Dynamics software Stella Architect®, we provide a way to quantify flows around assets, strategic innovations, political influence and social movements. We explore how transition costs and investors and public scrutiny can impact on firms’ decisions. “Defensive” strategies that delay the transfer of financial, physical and human assets (skills) can generate stranded assets, that have lost their market value entirely. A large accumulation of such stranded assets can rapidly affect the revenues and performance of the company as well as generating socio-economic instability.

Essentially, this exploratory model aims to reconcile societal and industrial perspectives to decarbonisation.  Is there anything else that you’d like to see reflected in the model?

Cardiff University – Understanding public responses to industrial decarbonisation in insecure times – MIP 1.5

This animation exhibit explains how we conducted deliberative workshops in South Wales, the second biggest industrial and power carbon emitting region in the UK. The workshops were carried out in 2022 at Port Talbot and Pembroke Dock, sites identified for new technological energy infrastructures. The research is of interest to industrialists, policy makers and academics working on decarbonization of industry. The animation explains how we developed  tools using maps and photographs to situate industrial visions in Place understood as ‘Infrastructural Ecologies’. Our research brings together the experience of the material fabric of  industrials spaces with  social aspects of everyday life.  Our research shows that attending to how stakeholder visions are received by local people supports broader aims of co-producing pathways to change. The animation was made by artist Efa Blosse- Mason in response to our script.

We will be discussing findings from our research in the session on Friday 11:30-12:30 titled ‘Will industrial decarbonisation produce resilient communities?’ Our research is available here: https://idric.org/resources/report-will-industrial-decarbonisation-produce-resilient-communities/

Efa Blosse- Mason http://www.efabmanimation.com/

British Geological Survey – Heriot-Watt University – CO2Stored 2.0 – Next generation of the UK’s carbon dioxide storage database – MIP 6.4

CO2Stored is the UK national CO2 storage database. It provides detailed information on UK offshore geological strata suitable for CO2 storage and a world-leader in the online provision of a national CO2 storage database. The information is freely accessible to registered users, with registration open to all and at no cost. Database users in the industry, regulatory and academia within and external to the UK. The database was initially populated in 2011. There are more than 630 storage units in the database, predominantly saline aquifer sandstones and depleting hydrocarbon fields.

The online CO2Stored database will be demonstrated by a member of CO2Stored staff, to view the database content and to answer your questions about the database at the showcase. The demonstration will show what information is available; for each unit there is information on the geological formation, pore volume, storage capacity and injectivity. Risk profiles are also provided for saline aquifer storage units. The search facility options and use of the map interface to identify and select storage units will be demonstrated.

British Geological Survey – A new seismic hazard model to support decarbonisation in offshore regions around the United Kingdom – MIP 2.5

The presence of historical seismicity, including the largest recorded earthquake in the United Kingdom (UK), near offshore carbon capture and storage areas suggests that robust estimates of earthquake hazard are essential for the planning and design of offshore critical infrastructure. Although updated seismic hazard maps for the UK were published in 2020 to inform the National Annex to Eurocode 8 (earthquake-resistant design of structures), these maps do not extend offshore and the most recent hazard maps for the offshore regions around the UK were published in 2002.

In this project, we have developed new seismic hazard maps for the current UK offshore Exclusive Economic Zone using the latest available data and best practices in seismic hazard methodology, in particular how to model the ground shaking produced by potential, future earthquakes and capture its uncertainties. The new offshore maps show peak ground acceleration and spectral acceleration at 0.2 s and 1.0 s on rock conditions for five return periods (95, 475, 1100, 2475, and 10000 years). They will be accessible to the public through a dedicated webpage and an interactive mapping tool. Here we will show how users can view the hazard maps interactively, navigate to a specific area of interest, query the maps, and select a specific location to have the corresponding hazard value.


Durham University – Teesside University (LEAD) – A Smart Decision Modelling (SDM) tool for industrial cluster decarbonisation – MIP 3.1

Imperial College London – Integrated design and optimisation for nationwide deployment of direct air capture units – MIP 8.6

Flexibility of carbon capture systems via design space identification: Industrial post-combustion CO2 capture processes need to be designed with a high degree of flexibility in mind to be robust under transient operating conditions. A demonstrated technology for achieving CO2 is chemical separation of CO2 using solid sorbents. However, the potential to develop scalable solutions remains high, requiring a detailed understanding of the impact of both process design and operation on the performance of the capture unit. Our project addresses this knowledge gap by presenting a process simulation tool for the purification of CO2 from flue gas in a continuous adsorption process.

This exhibit presents an interactive tool to assess the performance of different solid sorbents for CO2 capture applications. The tool allows the user to select an adsorbent material and to visualise its so-called ‘design space’ – a 3D space that encompasses all combination of feasible points in terms of key operating parameters, such as pressures and flow rates. By selecting a target CO2 purity and CO2 recovery, the user can readily visualise the size of the design space, which thus becomes a measure to quantify the flexibility of the CO2 capture operation.

Swansea University – Mobile energy stored as heat – MIP 4.1

Heavy industries, such as steel producers, release up to 50% of the energy they consume as waste heat. If this heat can be captured, it could be used for other purposes, such as heating people’s homes.

This project is developing a novel heat storage material that will store waste heat from industry indefinitely, which can then be safely transported and released where it is needed.

Tapping into the circular economy, this Wales-based project has the potential to use a portion of the 760MW of waste heat energy produced at Port Talbot’s Steel plant and heat up to 500,000 local homes, which are currently responsible for >1Mt of CO2 emissions annually.

Heriot-Watt University – Sustainable Electro-Synthesis of Chemical Energy Vectors in Industrial Clusters – MIP 5.4

54% of extracted crude oil is used to produce products we use in our daily lives, like medicines, cosmetics, plastics and cleaning fluids. As we break our reliance on fossil fuels, we need to find greener routes to produce these everyday products that society relies on.

This project has created an extremely versatile electrolyser that will allow the production of a range of small molecules such as ethylene, ethylene glycol, acetic acid and methanol – the building blocks for our everyday products – to be produced from green hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO). Importantly, the CO is produced using CO captured from industrial processes. By using captured CO₂ and hydrogen produced from water and renewable electricity, this technology has the ability reduce carbon emissions from industrial processes and, at the same time, produce the products we need without using fossil fuels

Heriot-Watt University – Accelerating the deployment of cost-competitive advanced carbon capture technologies for industrial decarbonisation – MIP 6.1

Identifying optimal carbon capture technologies is a multi-scale and multidimensional problem involving various stakeholders. In this project, we adopted a holistic approach, developing an integrated technology platform for conducting value-chain analyses of sorbent-based CO2 capture technologies tailored to specific CO2 sources, sinks, and regions relevant to UK industrial clusters. The analysis encompasses material screening using an extensive database of over 1000 adsorbents, process performance evaluation, and techno-economic and environmental impact assessments.

To communicate project outcomes to a wider audience, we developed an interactive visualization tool available at https://prisma.matcloud.xyz. This tool serves to inform material manufacturers, technology users, project developers, engineering, and environmental firms.

The success of this project has led to a follow-up initiative: Augmented Engineering Digital Tools for Cluster-Based CCUS Design (AECCS). AECCS aims to embed engineering digitalization tools for a cost-effective process design of cluster-based CCUS technologies. Together with Solverlo Ltd., we are currently developing an Augmented Engineering Review (AER) tool based on plant design data, incorporating accurate cost models for design recommendations and conducting hazard and operability assessments for carbon capture plants. This tool will extend the capabilities of our value-chain platform.

Imperial College London – CCUS Systems Integration and Optimisation Tools – MIP 6.3, 2.1 & 4.7