Students are taking control of a £2 million carbon capture pilot plant in the heart of London, which officially opens today at Imperial College London.
Imperial's carbon capture pilot plant, the most sophisticated of its kind in an academic institution in the world, will provide a unique hands-on education experience in a controlled and safe environment for the college's undergraduate engineers.
The plant demonstrates how CO2 emissions can be captured by a power plant. Through this, students will learn the principles that can be applied in a range of industrial settings including petrochemical plants. The plant is controlled by the latest communication, computing and sensing technology and Imperial academics expect to train more than 8,000 undergraduates during the plant's predicted 25 year lifespan.
The Plant will also perform several other important roles: a summer school for engineering students from around the world; a laboratory for Imperial academics who are improving technology to capture CO2 emissions; and a location for the energy and chemical engineering sector to train staff in the capital.
Dr Daryl Williams, director of the Pilot Plant Project at Imperial College London, says, "This plant gives Imperial students the opportunity to run one the most sophisticated carbon capture pilot plants in the world - quite a contrast from spending time in seminars and lectures. We can create a range of scenarios for students, so that they can experience and help to solve the problems that engineers in the real world face every day. By providing this intense training before they begin their careers, we aim to provide our graduates with the best possible start and to provide industry with the type of high calibre, well trained employees that they are crying out for all over the world."
The plant separates 1.2 tonnes of CO2 from other harmless emissions in a continuous process that sees the gases remixed and separated again and again to demonstrate how industry in the future could capture CO2 emissions.