Communicating CCS to non-specialists
Carbon capture and storage is currently a "hot topic". I am one of a number of researchers at the University who devotes some of their time to helping non-specialists (policy-makers, journalists...) improve their understanding of this technology. I also participate as a 'technology expert' in research projects led by non-specialists (e.g. an ongoing UK Energy Research Centre project exploring potential development pathways for CCS).
Power plant and CO2 capture engineering
Working with colleagues in the Institute for Materials and Processes, I have been contributing to improved understanding of likely power plant performance with CO2 capture since I started work on CCS in 2004. In 2010, I was sole author for a review report commissioned by the IEA Clean Coal Centre on operating options available to power plants with CO2 capture. Much of my previous and ongoing work in this area focusses on flexible operation of power plants with CO2 capture.
CO2 pipeline design and operation
Successful CCS projects will need effective solutions for transporting captured carbon dioxide to safe geological storage. Some of my work is contributing to improved understanding of how CO2 transport infrastructure could be developed and operated successfully.
Techno-economic analysis of CCS in electricity systems
Developing effective engineering solutions typically requires a good understanding of a range of non-technical issues. Much of my work is, therefore, interdisciplinary. In particular, I have developed methods for screening analysis of different operating options for power plants with CO2 capture taking into account economic, as well as technical, considerations. Ongoing work is extending these methods to include more detailed consideration of CO2 transport networks.
Opportunities and challenges for CCS in developing countries
A number of researchers at the University of Edinburgh are contributing to efforts to determine if and how it could be appropriate to use CCS in developing countries. For example, in 2009 I co-authored a report that investigated the prospects for CCS technology in India with Rudra Kapila (see http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/sccs/india-ccs-prospects.html).