We have several ongoing projects in the world of CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage ) and CCU (Carbon Capture and Utilisation) technology. under the supervision of the Research Centre of San Donato Milanese and the Renewable Energy and Environmental R&D Centre in Novara.
In relation to the technologies, with regards to the capturing stage, we are developing systems that use ionic liquids that are more efficient than conventional amine-based liquids.
Where storage is concerned, thanks to our key expertise in geology, we are using an integrated approach to capture, transport, fluid-to-rock interaction and monitoring studies relating to the geological storage of CO2. On the operations front, we want to create the world's largest CO2 storage hub off the coast of Ravenna, taking advantage of depleted deposits and disused assets in the area. At an international level, we are also partners in two CCS projects being set up in the UK: HyNet North West, in the Liverpool Bay area on the north-west coast, and Net Zero Teesside, on the north-east coast. Outside Europe, we are also looking at opportunities to develop CCS projects in Australia and East Timor.
The range of technologies we are developing for the utilization phase is more complex. A first line of research relates to the ultra-intensified bio-fixation of CO₂ through the cultivation of microalgae in LED photobioreactors with photosynthesis optimised wavelengths. Another technology involves a process of CO2 mineralisation with natural mineral phases and the use of the products obtained during the making of cement, which we patented in April 2021. A third area of research looks at ways to use CO₂ in the production of methanol, an energy vector with huge potential. One larger-scale project in particular also aims to capture CO2 directly on board vehicles.