Our first public lecture at these new digs will be with Dr. Stuart Gilfillan, Chancellor's Fellow researching Geochemistry at Edinburgh Uni. Dr. Gilfillan's talk is titled "Opportunities for Engineering Clean Fossil Fuels for a Decarbonised Future." The talk abstract follows below. We hope to see you there!
As fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of world energy for decades to come it is clear that unabated emissions from them is not congruent with meeting internationally agreed climate targets. However, not all hydrocarbons are equal in their carbon emissions, with natural gas combustion emitting around half the CO2per unit energy compared with coal.
Additionally, application of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) offers the potential to massively reduce emissions from large point sources of CO2. The recent US boom in shale gas production has displaced coal usage leading to a reduction in emissions from point sources, and potentially an opportunity to legislate CO2emissions controls. How replicable is this in other regions? European governments are pulled between the attraction of a potential new domestic energy resource, and addressing public concerns that exploiting unconventional gas could cause unacceptable environmental, social and climate damage.
I will examine how engineering best practice and integration with CCS might allow the unconventional gas industry to achieve a 'social license to operate'. Can a 'golden age of gas' buy time to address the challenge of climate mitigation?