CO2 capture, transport & techno-economics for Ireland

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    National University of Ireland Galway
    Professions and applied sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)




2-year funded Masters position available

CO2 capture, transport & techno-economics for Ireland



Masters Project Description: This Masters project, based at NUI Galway, will completely update and expand the findings of 2005 and 2006 studies into CO2 capture and storage (CCS) as part of a broader feasibility study of CCUS (CO2 capture, utilisation & storage) in Ireland. The Masters project will specifically address:

  1. CO2 sources: Gas and biomass power plants, cement kilns, anaerobic digesters, and other small-scale distributed CO2 sources will be studied instead of centralised coal plants, which are currently being phased out across Europe.
  2. Capture technologies. Post-combustion capture, which has undergone significant development, instead of pre-combustion capture, will be modelled. New technologies, including solid-state and membrane CO2 capture, will be examined.
  3. Techno-economics. All technology learning curves from the global expansion of CCS from 3 Mt/yr in 2005 to 35 Mt/yr at present will be implemented.

This will give an updated picture of the costs and benefits of CO2 capture for the country. This work will comprise an extended literature review and overhaul of the techno-economic models built by Monaghan et al in 2006.

Background: NUI Galway and the University of Liverpool have been awarded funding to perform a comprehensive feasibility study of CCUS in Ireland. Work Package 1 (WP1, this Masters project) will fully update Monaghan’s 2006 techno-economic models of CCS to the current state of the art. This will include updates of all capture efficiencies and costs of capture, transport and injection. It will also refocus the 2006 model from coal to gas, bioenergy including anaerobic digesters and industrial sources of CO2. Bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) is a negative emissions technology, which the IPCC, IEA and others predict will be needed if 1.5 oC of warming is to be avoided. WP2 will extend understanding of Ireland’s storage capacity by modelling the role fault structures in Ireland play in subsurface CO2 storage reservoirs with newly available data. WP3 will explore the potential of a completely new form of CO2 storage, mineralisation in high temperature geological environments. This is an emerging field of study and has not been characterised for many countries including Ireland. It will involve both experimental tests and modelling. WPs 1-3 will fully update our understanding of CCS (not CCUS) to the international state of the art. WP4 will explore the utilisation of CO2 in non-geological settings. Possible uses of CO2 include food/drink preparation, “green chemistry” building blocks, construction materials, and synthetic fuels. Supply chains for these products will be designed and costed. Researchers in these fives WPs will work closely together to deliver the overall project.

Duration: 1st September 2020 – 30th August 2022

Stipend & tuition: €18,500 per annum plus tuition fees for 2 years.

Requirements: Honours Bachelors (Level 8) degree in Engineering with at least a 2.1 Honours grade or equivalent. The successful candidate will have a strong background in thermodynamics, modelling languages (including for example Matlab, Python, Aspen). Extremely strong written and spoken English communication skills are essential. Backgrounds in geographic information systems (GIS), optimisation and/or life cycle assessment are advantageous.

How to apply: Send a one-page cover letter, and your CV with names and contact details of two referees to the project supervisor, Dr. Rory Monaghan at rory.monaghan@nuigalway.ie, with “CCUS Masters application” in the subject line. The closing date for receipt of applications is 9pm (Irish time) Sunday 31st May 2020.

Additional information

Dr. Rory Monaghan: Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=S_VYLXYAAAAJ&hl=en, LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rorymonaghan/, Twitter: @IrishEnergyGuy, email: rory.monaghan@nuigalway.ie



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