24 May 2021
‘Champagne’ technology to capture carbon dioxide via the oceans
tpgroup is the industry partner to the Exeter University-led SeaCURE programme that has today received government funding for a study into a new method of capturing carbon from seawater – helping to tackle climate change. The process – similar to capturing the CO2 bubbles in a fizzy drink – makes use of natural processes and renewable energy to remove carbon from seawater, allowing that seawater to in turn take more CO2 out of the atmosphere.
SeaCURE – a collaboration between the University of Exeter, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Brunel University London and tpgroup – has won a £250,000 grant for an initial study. The funding comes from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, run by the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
The challenge with capturing carbon from the atmosphere is that CO2 makes up only around half of one percent of the air around us, so you need to push vast quantities of air through capture facilities to extract a meaningful amount of carbon. SeaCURE’s approach sidesteps this challenge by allowing the ocean’s vast surface area to do the job for us, tipping the natural process of CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and ocean in our favour.
SeaCURE technology will temporarily make seawater more acidic, which helps get the CO2 to ‘bubble out’, then delivers a concentrated CO2 stream for utilisation and storage.. The CO2-depleted water is released back to the ocean, where it takes up more CO2 from the air.
The SeaCURE team will initially design a pilot plant to remove at least 100 tonnes of CO2 a year. This is about combining and scaling up proven technology and solving problems. By optimising each stage of this process, the SeaCURE team hope to develop a model that will make this commercially viable on a large scale.
The only input required by SeaCURE, apart from seawater, is electricity – and the team will use wind to power their process.
tpgroup and carbon capture
tpgroup is committed to accelerating ever more innovative ways to capture CO2 at its UK-based Atmosphere Management Systems Centre.
This is being achieved through a roadmap of investment, international partnerships and licensing agreements. It is also the industry partner on innovative carbon programmes with other universities, in addition to the SeaCURE Programme, including Brunel.