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Reference Number NE/H01392X/1
Title Multiscale whole systems modelling and analysis for CO2 capture, transport and storage
Status Completed
Energy Categories FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 capture/separation) 33%;
FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 transport) 33%;
FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(CO2 Capture and Storage, CO2 storage) 34%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 50%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 70%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 30%;
Principal Investigator Professor S (Sevket ) Durucan
No email address given
Earth Science and Engineering
Imperial College London
Award Type R&D
Funding Source NERC
Start Date 01 June 2010
End Date 31 May 2013
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £691,205
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors; Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region London
Programme Environmental Risks and Hazards, Global Change, Natural Resource Management, Pollution and Waste
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor S (Sevket ) Durucan , Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Dr A (Anna ) Korre , Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Professor N ( Nilay ) Shah , Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr PDM (Peter ) Spelt , Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Web Site

The following grants are linked: NE/H013865/1, NE/H01392X/1, NE/H013946/1

The principal aims of the project are to develop a systems modelling framework relevant to CCS and apply this to perform a range of analyses which quantify a series of environmental, economic and safety-related metrics. This is broken down into a number of grouped objectives:

  1. Methodology development:
    1. Development of a multiscale modelling approach to develop and link fit-for-purpose component models such as those relating to power generation, CO2 capture, transport, injection and storage.
    2. Using aggregations of the integrated model to develop a network design model which supports time-phased development, designing optimal CO2 infrastructure networks that join sources and sinks.
    3. Development of quantitative performance measures of long-term system performance, including integrated life-cycle based environmental assessments based on a variety of criteria that evaluate whole-chain risks, limitations and impacts and economic evaluation.
    4. Development and use of dynamic (transient) models of the network and its substructures to assess its performance under transient conditions and evaluate its operability, controllability and safety characteristics.
  2. Data acquisition and validation of methodology developed:
    1. Identification of major current and proposed CO2 point sources in a region (the Forth of Firth region is proposed in agreement and collaboration with Scottish Power), taking into account the evolution of the energy and other CO2 intensive industries.
    2. Identification of potential CO2 capture technologies for typical UK sources; quantifying the key economic and environmental parameters of the technologies chosen.
    3. Exploiting information made available by research partners, collaborating industry and parallel research programmes, identification of potential CO2 sinks in the region and quantifying the economic and environmental parameters of the storage options selected.
  3. Application of the methodology to a UK system and generation of a wide range of whole-system results and insights:
    1. The details of the time-phased evolution of the whole system design, including systems integration issues and insights.
    2. Integrated assessment of proposed designs, quantifying economics, technological risk and long-term environmental performance against a number of metrics including lifecycle GHG emissions and a variety of other impact measures (e.g. acidification, human toxicity).
    3. Identify and quantify issues and opportunities (e.g. provision of flexible generation) at the interface between the UK's evolving energy system and the CCS infrastructure.
    4. Characterise and quantify the transient performance of the systemand undertake safety, op erability and risk analyses.

The UK has challenging GHG reduction targets. It is believed that carbon capture and storage (CCS) will play a critical role in the energy systems of the future, in part to support the decarbonisation objective and in part to provide grid flexibility in a future system including a large fraction of less responsive low carbon energy systems (e.g. nuclear baseload and intermittent wind).

The whole systems modelling and analysis programme proposed here is designed to support wider UK initiatives by reducing technological risk and identifying performance bottlenecks. CCS will require substantial capital investment in capture and transport systems and storage complex management. Although elements of the whole chain have been studied through modelling and experimentation, there is little work on whole system assessment. For complex systems such as CCS, whole system assessment is vital ahead of large scale deployment as it identifies critical integration and interaction issues between the components and evaluates whole system performance as a function of component design parameters. Thus the whole system may be optimised; simply optimising the design of individual components is likely to result in a sub-optimal system design.

The proposed research methodology is based on multiscale modelling. This involves the development of fit-for-purpose models of the individual components which describe phenomena that operate over different length and time scales and which support integration and data exchange across scales. The reason for this is that relatively localised phenomena (e.g. mass transfer in an amine scrubber) might affect the overall system transient response by limiting the rate at which the power plant flue gas flowrate can be turned up or down. Similarly, the important performance trade-offs in individual component designs must be characterised and used for overall system design.

There are a number of important issues to be resolved regarding future CCS systems; the applicants believe that multiscale systems modelling approach is ideal to develop relevant insights and guidance. Examples of the issues to be addressed through whole systems modelling, analysis and optimisation include:

  • The development and application of a methodology to optimise the time-phased evolution of the whole CCS system design (incorporating its important individual components), including sources to recruit and location of storage sites, balancing long-term and short-term investment imperatives.
  • Performing integrated assessments of alternative CCS systems, through the application of fit-for-purpose models (e.g. those able to quantify trace emissions of harmful substances) and rigorous life-cycle based analyses.
  • Characterising the transient performance of the integrated system (how will it perform in actual operation?), understanding whether or not it affects the flexibility of the wider energy system with whichit isinterfaced, what the safety critical components are and the network's dynamic stability and operability bottlenecks
  • Understand issues of systems integration - how do the different phenomena associated with the different components in the system cause effects to propagate through the network (e.g. the effect of impurities in captured CO2, the transport network and the storage complex). What are the important considerations that must be taken into consideration when designing and operating the whole system?

The outcome of the programme will be relevant to a very wide range of stakeholders interested in CCS, including industry, regulatory and policy agencies and academia.

The most important contributions of the project will be:

  • making available methodologies to design and analyse future CCS systems
  • generating insights into the most important interactions involved in system design and operation
  • quantifying (economics, environmental impact, safety & operability) the performance of UK CCS systems
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 22/10/10