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Decarbonising gas in North West England

Significant advancements in decarbonisation are necessary for the UK to meet the requirements of the Climate Change Act (2008). Our PhD researcher is looking at the development of a potential hydrogen system in the North West of England, which is an ideal location due to its existing industry, academia, infrastructure and natural assets, including potential offshore locations to safely store carbon.

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University of Chester

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Green Energy

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Chemical Engineering

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October 2018 - October 2021

Research focus

Significant advancements in decarbonisation are necessary for the UK to meet the requirements of the Climate Change Act (2008). Whilst driving down emissions, it is crucial that the UK ensures it provides a secure supply of energy to accommodate ever increasing demands. One potential decarbonisation option is to establish a system which incorporates the production, storage, transportation and delivery of hydrogen for use in industry, transportation, and household energy.

The potential of hydrogen has received attention due to the combustion process of the gas which forms only water as a side product, resulting in zero-carbon emissions. Currently, the main hydrogen production technologies which can produce the required volumes of hydrogen depend on fossil fuel as a raw material, which means carbon is produced when the fossil fuel is turned into hydrogen.

These production technologies could, however, assist in reaching decarbonisation targets if the resultant carbon emissions are captured and stored appropriately. In addition to storage, the usage of the emitted carbon presents another opportunity to reduce emissions. Carbon capture, usage and storage has gained a high profile within the UK, with the development of Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) clusters receiving much attention from government.

Reace’s research will focus on the development of a potential hydrogen system in the North West of England, which is an ideal location due to its existing industry, academia, infrastructure and natural assets, including potential offshore locations to safely store carbon. There are currently a number of hydrogen projects proposed or ongoing in the North West; the research will consider how these isolated projects could be integrated in the future.

As well as the technical elements of a future hydrogen system, Reace will focus on a range of stakeholders including government, industry, local councils and society as a whole. The research will seek to understand the barriers and enablers to the development of a hydrogen system, as well as how each stakeholder could affect the speed of transition.

Contact and social

Tim Embley

Knowledge and innovation manager
01628 842444
[email protected]