Three major European research institutes are joining forces in the research and development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Norway’s SINTEF, TNO of the Netherlands and France’s IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) have created the Tri4CCS Alliance, which aims to make the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) safer and more cost effective.

The three institutes already support the efforts of energy utilities, equipment suppliers and authorities in the CCS field, and say that joining forces will help to tackle scientific challenges effectively and speed development of CCS technology.

“As a group, we are large enough to tackle the scientific challenges that will emerge when in the course of a few years Europe commissions its planned demonstration and full-scale CCS plants,” said alliance spokesman Dr Nils A. Røkke, vice president Climate Technologies, SINTEF.

He continued: “There are still many challenges ahead of us before CCS will be a feasible technology, and it is in this perspective that the establishment of the Tri4CCS Alliance will make a difference.”

The three institutes currently employ a total of 450 scientists in the CCS field, and have a combined CCS R&D portfolio of around €60 million per year. They also operate important laboratory and test facilities, which will be “a major asset as we integrate our R&D efforts in CCS,” says the Alliance.

According to Dr Røkke, the expertise of the alliance will be of particular importance as a means of ensuring that carbon capture plants will be environmentally friendly and as cost-effective as possible, and just as important when it comes to monitoring the stored CO2.

“Research results will play a decisive role in gaining the public’s acceptance for underground storage of CO2, and there too, the work of the alliance will be important,” said Dr Røkke.