Carbon Capture and Energy Storage

Carbon Capture and Energy Storage

Researcher: Richard O'Shea

T: 353 21 420-5283 


Funding Body: Ervia and Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MarEI)

Project Type: PhD

Period: Sept 2014 – Sept 2018

Project Description:

A potential route to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide is the use of carbon capture at central point emitters such as thermal power stations. Carbon capture can be carried out in a number of ways; physical, chemical, and biological. Once the carbon dioxide is captured it is possible to use this in the production of either synthetic gaseous fuels (using biological or chemical processes) or in the cultivation of micro algae, which in turn can be used to produce biogas through the use of anaerobic digestion. The combination of carbon capture and power to gas technology also allows for the conversion of the captured carbon dioxide to methane using hydrogen sourced from excess variable renewable electricity in times of oversupply. This allows for the storage of excess electricity in the form of synthetic methane. The use of this methane in either transport, heating, or electricity y generation avoids the use of additional fossil fuels, therefore reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions. Power to gas and carbon capture can potentially be used at large thermal power stations and at biogas plants as both produce CO2, the former from fossil fuels and the latter typically from biomass. Electricity produced from biogas has the benefit of being a fully dispatchable source of renewable electricity, biogas plants could be used to supply electricity in times pf peak demand or low wind generation (demand driven biogas production).

The main objectives of this project are; to determine the potential role of green gas (sourced from anaerobic digestion and power to gas) in the Irish energy system in coming decades, investigate and carry out lab scale experiments on the cultivation of microalgae as a method for carbon capture, determine the possibility of incorporating demand driven biogas and power to gas systems in Ireland with the aim of balancing variable renewable generation through research and lab work, and research and experimentation on novel feed stocks for anaerobic digestion in Ireland.


Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork