Clean fuel collaboration

Imperial College London and Royal Dutch Shell are forming a new multi-million pound joint research programme to discover ways to produce cleaner fossil fuels.

ImperialCollegeLondon and Royal Dutch Shell have formed a new multi-million pound joint research programme to discover ways to produce cleaner fossil fuels.

Due to launch on February 15, the Shell Imperial Grand Challenge Programme on Clean Fossil Fuels will focus on developing processes that will enhance extraction of difficult hydrocarbons with minimal release of greenhouse gases. It will examine processes from the extraction stage through to downstream delivery of energy and chemicals to the consumer.

According to a statement from Imperial, the Grand Challenge Programme aims to acquire a much better understanding of the science and engineering of CO2 in oil and gas reservoirs and coal deposits. This understanding will help to develop processes for optimising the capture and underground injection of CO2, for enhanced recovery and long-term storage. In addition, the study will explore new integrated fossil fuel production processes which use less energy and produce low carbon fuels.

Programme Director, Professor Geoffrey Maitland, Professor of Energy Engineering at ImperialCollege said, ‘This exciting programme will bring together new ideas and concepts from a broad range of engineering and science areas across the College. It has the potential to change dramatically the way oil, gas and coal are produced over the next few decades.’

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College, confirmed the importance of this project: ‘How we produce and use fossil fuels in ways which meet climate change constraints is one of the greatest engineering challenges of this century. The Energy Futures Lab based at the college focuses on tackling the major issues in energy research and will play a vital role in this new collaboration.’

The Programme will use the science and engineering expertise from the Energy Futures Lab, based at Imperial. Established in November 2005, the Energy Futures Lab aims to produce an integrated view of future energy supply, demand and distribution that encompasses technological, environmental, economic and security aspects.