UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) are collaborating to identify emergent research priorities in the field of CCUS and to determine key areas of mutual interest for possible India-UK collaboration. To aid in the creation of these priorities, a report has been commissioned.

This study gives an overview of CCUS development and implementation status in the United Kingdom and India. It gives out a wide picture of the sector in both countries, including R&D priorities, ongoing projects, and policy frameworks, as well as social and environmental implications and economic feasibility studies.

The findings provide a fuller picture of the CCUS landscape in both countries, and the conclusions identify areas for possible collaboration. The following are the major objectives of this report:

  1. To present a comprehensive outline of India’s and the United Kingdom’s carbon capture, use, and storage capability.
  2. To create an overview/map of the current Indian and UK CCUS research ecosystems, highlighting existing connections.
  3. Identify major potential for collaboration in India-UK collaborative research programs.

Overview of Reports

There are numerous possible areas of collaboration in CCUS research between the UK and India. CO2 Capture Technologies, CO2 Utilization, CO2 Storage, and cross-cutting collaboration are examples. Through the joint statement, the governments reiterated their commitment to collaborate in climate technology deployment and R&D during the UK Prime Minister’s visit to India in April 2022 (Prime Minister’s Office, 2022).

CO2 Capture

Reducing the energy penalty and cost of CO2 capture has been a shared focus of R&D activity in India and the United Kingdom. Improving capture efficiency and cost-effectiveness is critical for both CO2 utilization and permanent geological storage.

So far, R&D in both countries has resulted in the development of better amines, innovative solvents, and adsorbents, which is an ongoing research topic. In this arena, there is already a successful India-UK collaboration; Carbon Clean developed CO2 capture technology in the UK, which is now deployed at a commercial CO2 utilization project for Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertilizers in India.

Innovators in India and the United Kingdom could work together at both high and low TRLs to improve CO2 capture technology. At high TRLs, there are chances for ongoing energy savings in existing technologies, as well as field testing and further scaling up of emerging novel solvents, heat exchangers, and modular CO2 collection techniques.

CO2 Utilization

The UK and India share a great interest in CO2 use technologies that offer either a major cost advantage or a high degree of permanent and secure CO2 storage.

CO2 conversion to mineral carbonates that can be utilized as chemical feedstocks or building materials is a significant opportunity for India and the United Kingdom to collaborate. Depending on the final purpose, such procedures can achieve a high degree of permanent and secure CO2 storage. Carbon8, a start-up in the United Kingdom, and Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertilizers, a chemical company in India, are both pioneers in this field.

Another possible area of collaboration is CO2 conversion to high-value goods such as aviation fuel, DME (through methanol), or certain polymers. In this situation, these items’ life-cycle CO2 emissions benefits may provide a significant economic advantage. A low-carbon, cost-effective hydrogen source is often required for these processes, and this represents a complementary aim for innovative partnership, as mentioned during the recent UK Prime Minister’s visit to India.

The subject of CO2 use is vast and rich in collaboration prospects across the TRL spectrum, from the discovery of new materials and processes through lab testing and field testing to scale-up for commercial projects.

CO2 Storage

Characterization of CO2 storage resources and measurement of reserve capacity has previously been areas of collaboration between the UK and India, with the possibility for future collaboration.

The COMICS project, which involves the British Geological Survey (BGS), the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), and the National Geophysical Research Institute, is an example of this partnership (NGRI). This study, which focuses on measuring storage in the Cambay Basin, may theoretically be expanded to include other potential CO2 storage basins in India. Another continuous area of cooperative research might be the safety aspects of this project, demonstrating the continued security of storage in local geologies and developing monitoring and safety best practices.

The UK has previously acquired a thorough grasp of where and how much CO2 may be kept, as well as the economics of CO2 storage in various settings in the UK. The majority of this potential storage is situated offshore in deep saline rocks, with additional possibilities in depleted oil and gas fields. This has been a driving force for CCUS policy incentives in the United Kingdom, as well as the subsequent engagement of project developers to construct CO2 transit and storage portions of CCUS projects.

In India, efforts have been made to begin quantifying CO2 storage prospects. Storage potential exists for CO2 EOR and CO2 ECBMR, and similar to the UK, the potential exists in depleted oil and gas fields and deep saline deposits. There are possibilities for non-traditional storage or use of rock extracted from vast basalt formations.

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