Working with other academic research institutions, industry and business partners as part of international collaborations, our projects are actively contributing to the vital work needed to decarbonise and sustainable power our world.

Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC)

This project, led by Heriot-Watt University and funded by UKRI, exists as part of a drive to create the world’s first net-zero emissions industrial cluster by 2040 and four low-carbon clusters by 2030.

IDRIC will work closely with the UK’s major industrial clusters to address the challenges of industrial decarbonisation and tackle carbon emissions from industrial clusters, alongside a diverse range of over 140 partners, including the University of Sheffield.

Here at Translational Energy Research Centre, we’re supporting a three-stage research project which aims to understand more about how the gasification of biomass with carbon capture could be used in producing hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels.

Negative Emissions in the Waste-to-Energy Sector (NEWEST)

The aim of NEWEST-CCUS is to accelerate the development and deployment of CO2 capture technologies that are tailored for effective operation at waste to energy (WtE) plants. Led by the Research Council of Norway and the University of Edinburgh, the project will expand the range of fuel sources that are ready to use in combination with CCUS.

In order to achieve its aims, the project will:

  • Establish a full overview of technical possibilities and limitations of several CO2 capture technologies for residential and industrial waste types.
  • Improve net efficiency of CO2 capture solutions for WtE applications through improved understanding of performance management options, building on insights from pilot scale testing and process modelling to explore thermodynamic integration options
  • Investigate operational issues for CO2 capture processes operating with waste-derived flue gases;
  • Demonstrate promising CCUS technologies for WtE, developing these options to TRL 5-8.

The Translational Energy Research Centre will support the pilot-scale testing and modelling of various carbon capture and waste-to-energy processes, enabling the essential demonstrations and understanding required as part of the project.

Lowering Absorption Process Uncertainty, Risk and Costs by Predicting and Gontrolling Amine Degradation (LAUNCH)

The LAUNCH project, led by The University of Sheffield, Doosan Babcock Limited, and University of Edinburgh, and co-led with a wide range of other academic and industrial partners, aims to accelerate the implementation of CO2 capture in various industries.

It will also accelerate the development of novel solvents by establishing a fast-track, cost-effective de-risking mechanism to predict and control degradation of capture solvents.

These objectives will be achieved by:

  • Developing strategies to control degradation, minimising solvent loss and therefore the environmental impacts of CO2 capture;
  • Developing the ability to predict degradation of (novel) CO2 capture solvents;
  • Developing and demonstrating the LAUNCH solvent qualification program

Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS)

An interdisciplinary team from TERC and the Energy Institute at the University of Sheffield, with colleagues at the University of Leeds, are part of a £1.26 million project funded by the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (UKRI funded), to develop approaches that blend technology and policy, with the aim of eliminating the steel industry’s dependence on fossil fuels.

This project will take a whole-systems approach to look at the integration of low carbon technologies and bioenergy into the manufacturing of steel, with the aim of reaching net-zero emissions.

Our researchers will provide expertise on the technical pathways for maturing decarbonisation technologies, and use our facilities to perform small pilot-scale experiments. From there, we can understand which technologies can be scaled up, and we will be able to advise government and industry on how steel can be made in a more sustainable manner, with impact both in the UK and overseas.

Laser Imaging of Turbine Engine Combustion Species (LITECS)

Our researchers join a team led by the University of Strathclyde on an £8 million research programme which aims ultimately to reduce the environmental impact of aviation and power generating gas turbine engines (GTEs).

The programme aims to deliver transformational combustion measurement and modelling tools to enable the development of low emission engine designs and the evaluation of new low emission fuels, reducing negative environmental impacts from jet engines.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, and industry, the consortium, made up of the universities of Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Manchester, Southampton, Loughborough and Sheffield, builds on the achievements of a previous £2.8m programme which used newly-developed laser techniques to demonstrate, for the first time, 2D imaging of carbon dioxide in the exhaust plume of a full-scale commercial gas turbine aero-engine.

Powerplant Integration of Novel Engine Systems (PINES)

The UKRI-funded PINES project will increase knowledge of fuel systems, fuel efficiency, and, importantly for next generation sustainable fuels, how new fuels might act whilst in use
through chemical, CFD and system modelling.

Running until July 2023, the project, which features our researchers, will further develop chemical and engine system modelling capabilities to be able to reliably predict the chemical composition of the fuel and the amount of bulk insolubles that can lead to deposit formation.

This research will benefit engine manufacturers by enabling predictions of the types of current and future fuels that will work most efficiently and effectively, and how much heat the engine fuels could withstand. The models will also improve the understanding of the variability of fuels and offer support to research into new, sustainable fuels.

Glass Futures

Researchers from the Translational Energy Research Centre are working with not-for-profit research and technology organisation Glass Futures, in partnership with a range of other universities and industry members, to design and carry out experiments to determine the best green fuel for the glass manufacturing industry.

The contract from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will provide in-depth investigations of sustainable alternative fuel sources and innovative scenarios to decarbonise the glass manufacturing process in line with net zero targets.

Working with the facilities and capabilities of the Translational Energy Research Centre, Dr Janos Szuhanszki from our team will produce flame characterisation experiments, supporting the team from the beginning to the end of the test campaign.

European CCS Experimental Laboratories (ECCSEL)

TERC is part of the UK node of the European CCS Experimental Laboratories project, a European Research Infrastructure Consortium currently with five member countries. ECCSEL is the European Research Infrastructure for CO2 Capture, Utilisation, Transport and Storage (CCUS).

The vision of the project is to enable low to zero CO2 emissions from industry and power generation to combat climate change. The aim is to enhance European science, technology development, innovation and education in the field of CCUS.

ECCSEL coordinates European development of facilities and their services to meet identified needs. The research infrastructure also reaches out to relevant industry and research communities to determine their research infrastructure needs to enable full-scale deployment of CCUS in Europe.

UKCCSRC Projects

The Translational Energy Research Centre works closely with the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) which is currently hosted at the University of Sheffield. There are several major overarching projects which began when TERC was in its previous iteration, PACT, which have the aim of developing understanding and technology for carbon capture, utilsations and storage.

The overall goal for the next phase of the UKCCSRC project is to help ensure that CCS will play an effective role in reducing net CO2 emissions while securing affordable and controllable electricity supplies, low carbon heat and competitive industries for the UK.

TERC will continue to provide a platform to support and catalyse academic R&D (with and without industrial collaborators) in order to accelerate the development and commercialisation of novel technologies for carbon capture and clean power generation and industrial sector. The focus of TERC during this phase will be on establishing pilot-scale second/third generation CO2 capture facilities to add to the capabilities of the centre and to support academia and industry to develop and demonstrate their novel technologies.

UKCCSRC Flex (Funding) – Evaluation of different CCUS systems based on the MCFC technology for decarbonising the power generation sector

This project, lead by Professor Lin Ma, focuses on a disruptive carbon capture process, namely the Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) technology which is available at TERC.

Unlike other capture technologies that absorb energy, MCFC is an active unit that generates energy, resulting in reduced capture energy penalties. The study focuses on the decarbonisation of the power sector, particularly the natural gas combined cycle plants.
The overall aim of the research project is to investigate the techno-economic feasibility of three different carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) systems that employ MCFC technology.

The outcomes of this project will constitute a foundation for a follow-up larger bid (e.g. EPSRC) in which the developed models will be calibrated and/or validated with relevant pilot plant data.

UKCCSRC Flex 2 – Co-Cap: Collaboration on Commercial

This project, led by Professor Jon Gibbins, aims to promote active, open and long-term discussions between industry and researchers on the fundamentals of post-
combustion capture practice.

To date, globally, several large PCC projects have been built, using generally similar approaches. But, because major aspects of design, construction and operational details have been treated as proprietary, so far only very limited knowledge
exchange has been able to take place, both from and to the projects (and most published PCC FEED studies are heavily redacted in important areas).

The outcomes of this project will assist in making detailed open-access PCC information available in the public domain via the UKCCSRC web site and will ultimately provide improvements in aspects of the first UK post-combustion capture projects that are deployed this decade, and allow for better-informed UK policy on CCS.

UKCCSRC Flex 3 – Advancements in mixed amine atmospheric kinetic models

This project, led by Professor Kevin Hughes, aims to investigate the fate of solvents that escape into the atmosphere during carbon capture processes. It will specifically devise detailed models to predict the behaviour of the emitted solvent. This will then allow regulators such as the Environment Agency to assess the safety of these processes.

The Translational Energy Research Centre hosts a range of carbon capture equipment which will enable testing, modelling and simulation to support the understanding and advancements sought by the project.

UKCCSRC Flex 4 – PCC – CARER: Post-Combustion Capture – Cost And
Residual Emission Reduction

This project, led by Professor Jon Gibbins, aims to support the expert recommendation that new Post-combustion CO2 capture (PCC) plants should be designed for 95% carbon capture capabilities. Test results from this project will provide additional support for this innovation by demonstrating the changes in PCC plant design and operation required to deliver cost-effective 95%+ capture.

The project will also address two important supporting issues for PCC deployment. Using the PCC-CARER runs and other tests at TERC, a system will be installed and tested to monitor oxygen levels in the captured CO2 and assess possible controls.

The new test techniques using solvent storage that are being developed to facilitate the advanced operating condition in this project can also help pilot plants generally to be more effective.

EICAD: Extended insights into chemistry for amine atmospheric degradation

Dr Christopher Parks received QR funding for this project, which will explore amine
degradation, a process which must be understood to improve amine solvent capture
technology, in enhanced detail (DFT species and reaction property calculation, leading to enhanced kinetic models), focusing on atmospheric chemistry models of both monoethanolamine and potential alternatives with enhanced carbon capture properties.

This will allow atmospheric dispersion models to be created from point source emissions of these amines from the carbon capture plant to assess the environmental impact of the amine release and its atmospheric degradation products.

The project will involve detailed knowledge transfer between the UoS and the Environment
Agency, and follow on activities will involve the use of the pilot-scale equipment at TERC.

CEPCC: Cost-Effective Post-Combustion Capture

Dr Stavros Michailos received QR funding for this project, which will examine innovative ways in which practical designs can be re-optimised to give cost-effective post-combustion capture (PCC) plants that can be deployed and developed as part of the UK’s Net Zero strategy.

Power, BECCS and EfW plants will need to use post-combustion capture, but to date research has concentrated on optimising energy use rather than the capital cost of the plant. Under new UK market conditions, however, it is CAPEX that dominates total costs, as intermittent renewables become cheaper and more widespread, and PCC load factors decline from baseload to perhaps 30-50%.

The power, BECCS and WtE plants based at TERC will be used as part of the research aims for this project.