Humber CO2 Transport Pipeline Network Design wins top award

Professor Meihong Wang and PhD students in the Chemical Engineering Laboratory at the University of Hull

Engineers at the University of Hull have won an award for their design of a carbon dioxide (CO2) transport pipeline network that could pump millions tonnes of greenhouse gases into the North Sea.

The paper investigates different options for designing a pipeline that would transport carbon dioxide from fossil fuel power stations and industrial plants, such as refineries and steel works, across the Humber region to be stored permanently underneath the seabed.

A pipeline of this kind could help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Humber, a region that has the largest share in the UK, emitting around 60 million tonnes per year.

Professor Meihong Wang, along with his former students Tihomir Lazic and Dr Eni Oko, co-authored the winning paper, which has been awarded the prestigious Ludwig Mond Prize by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

The prize is awarded for the best contribution to the progress of mechanical engineering of interest to the chemical industry.

“Humber region – a likely site for a carbon dioxide transport pipeline”

Professor Wang explained, “The Humber region is a likely site for a carbon dioxide transport pipeline in the future because of its high amount of emissions. It is also close to depleted gas fields and porous rock underneath the North Sea, where the gas can be permanently stored.”

“In the future, it is expected that the major carbon dioxide emitters such as large scale power stations and industrial plants will have systems to capture their carbon dioxide.”

“These ‘clusters’ will be connected to a single shared pipeline network.”

Written in collaboration with Cranfield University, the researchers investigated design, technical and cost considerations if a pipeline were to be introduced.

Dr Oko explained, “Carbon dioxide can exist as a gas, a liquid, a solid or even a dense ‘phase’ which is the best phase for transport.”

“However the phase can change quickly within the pipeline, which will affect how it will flow.”

“Any impurities in the fluid will also affect the flow regime and therefore the pipeline design. There are also costs to consider depending on the technology used to capture the carbon dioxide, then compressing, transporting and storing the gas. All of these considerations are essential for designing a pipeline.”

The Ludwig Mond Prize of £1000 plus a certificate will be awarded to the University of Hull authors at an awards ceremony in London on 15th October.

The success follows on the recent award from SAGE for the Best Paper Prize 2014.

Read the paper here.

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