Carbon Capture and Storage Research Program

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has provided funding to ISEEE, with a mandate to understand and address outstanding issues that create barriers for industry to make investments in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

With this support provided in June 2008, ISEEE established a program to engage CCS researchers at the University of Calgary and their partners. ISEEE monitors the individual projects, provides technical and administrative support, and reports back to NRCan and stakeholders. The NRCan funding has been used to date to support the research in 47 completed or ongoing projects.

From 2008 to 2010, ISEEE invested in 17 projects focused on Carbon Capture and Storage. Most of these projects are now complete. Based on results from these projects as well as ongoing research, ISEEE is preparing a high-quality booklet on CCS research at the U of Calgary that will be broadly disseminated. This booklet will explain the importance of CCS and the research conducted at the U of C to support Canada’s efforts to meet its climate change objectives.

Throughout 2010 and early in 2011, ISEEE funded or committed funding to 30 additional projects. Most of these projects are currently in progress; ISEEE monitors them all to ensure successful implementation and knowledge exchange.   

During the first three years of the Carbon Capture and Storage Research Program, ISEEE has invested resources in four strategic areas. Click here for a list of the ISEEE-funded projects in any of these four areas.

  • Carbon Capture. The creation of a pure CO2 stream for geological sequestration is the most expensive stage in the entire CCS process, and represents a significant barrier to industry investment in CCS. 
  • Secure Carbon Storage. While geoscientists have been injecting liquids and gases into underground reservoirs for decades, this has never been done at the scale that is being considered for full-scale deployment of CCS. There are number scientific questions and technological challenges that must be overcome. These issues represent another barrier to industry investment in CCS.
  • Technical, Socio-economic and Policy Analysis. Understanding and managing the ‘human dimension’ of Carbon Capture and Storage is perhaps the most challenging barrier to industry investment. Work in this area is very diverse, ranging from studies of life cycle assessment associated with specific technologies, to an understanding of the legal and regulatory issues, to work on public and industry perceptions of CCS and how to design decision-support systems. 
  • Knowledge Transfer, Communications and Outreach. Investments in this area during the last couple of years have focused on ISEEE reaching out to a variety of stakeholders to understand their issues and concerns. While such work will continue, ISEEE plans to invest more resources in communicating to stakeholders the results of the NRCan investments, as these results become available over the next few years.