This Programme focuses on the important and challenging, but largely unexplored, question of to what extent is it possible to create viable processes for converting a waste stream of CO2 to a liquid fuel (CDU). It has three major themes, one dealing with the capture of the CO2, another with its “activation” to enable manufacture of fuels and the third which provides the necessary thermodynamic and sustainability disciplines to examine process viability. To assist in this, an exemplar application has been considered: the treatment of biogas from an anaerobic digester on a waste plant.
Our vision continues to be that “we foresee a future in which CO2 will be captured and converted into valuable materials, particularly fuels” and we are progressing well against that. The work that we are currently doing on the Programme has enabled us to see further forward, with increased confidence, toward that vision. The medium-term future challenges involve taking each of the technologies, with which we have been working, up through the Levels of Technology Readiness (TRLs) whilst simultaneously introducing a pipeline of other potentially viable activation techniques, catalysis opportunities and capture schemes at the early research stage.
Our ambition remains to put the UK at the forefront of international work in this field by creating a step change in the capability of the UK industrial and research communities to understand and analyse schemes for converting CO2 to fuels.