CCS, one of the studies being made by the RCGI, could contribute to a 14% reduction of energy-related emissions by 2050, according to the IEA.

At the V Internal Workshop of the FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI), scientists involved with the 45 projects on the Center’s portfolio discussed ideas, identified new possibilities for interaction between the projects, and discussed the intersection of the objectives of the institution’s activities with the 17 development goals for which were established by the United Nations, in 2015. The event took place in the Auditorium of the Institute for Energy and the Environment of the University of São Paulo (IEE/USP), in the city of São Paulo, on August 21 and 22.

“Universities know that they can contribute to the goals, and vice-versa. There is an emphasis on developing indicators that take into account how we are evolving. The 17 UN goals present 169 already-accepted indicators. And the technological path to be taken by carbon capture and storage (CCS), which is one of the main focuses of study of the RCGI, directly affects goals 7 and 13 that deal with energy and combatting climate change,” noted engineer Oscar Serrate in one of the lectures presented during the meeting. Based on data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), he stated that CCS could contribute to a 14% reduction in energy-related emissions by 2050.

Oscar Serrate

“We are more than 200 researchers at RCGI and we know that we must make a difference. Most of our projects contribute directly to solutions for reducing and mitigating emissions, within a context where the world needs these answers,” stated the Centre’s Scientific Director Júlio Meneghini. He recalled the recent trucker’s strike as an example of the importance of studying the share of natural gas and other sources in Brazil’s transportation energy matrix. “If natural gas were a more expressive part of the transportation energy matrix, the trucker’s strike would not have happened.”

The interaction between the various projects of the institution’s portfolio continues to be one of the objectives of the Workshop, which takes place twice a year. “It is an opportunity for interaction and synergy. We have striven to bring together the best thinkers in both scientific and motivational terms, as well,” Meneghini said at the beginning of the meeting. Leadership and Human Resource Manager Karen Mascarenhas highlighted the policy for attracting foreign researchers, which has already brought scientists to the RCGI from different countries, including Iran, Colombia, and Nigeria. And she noted the RCGI’s recent participation in a meeting organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States.

Unlike previous events, when the order of the presentations was done by drawing names, or without and thematic grouping, this Workshop was divided into ten overarching subjects, which facilitated the presentation of the work, making the event more effective. Several partial results were presented, including preliminary publications and data arising from experiments and research done by around 250 researchers of the RCGI.

The projects developed by the RCGI over its two-and-one-half years of work have already resulted in over 60 scientific publications and nearly 50 presentations in related conferences and events, as well as the granting of three patents. According to Meneghini, the contribution of the RCGI’s projects to the development objectives of the millennium should be a part of the reports of activities of the teams from this time forward.

Trend – Besides CCS, one of the solutions accepted by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by the European Parliament, and by scientists, worldwide, as being crucial to combatting climate change, Carbon Capture Utilization (CCU) is also the focus of several RCGI projects. One of them is Project 30, whose objective is to obtain value-added products from the hydrogenation of do CO2. Project 31, dealing with removing CO2 from the atmosphere through a cell photocatalysis and transforming it into a useful organic product for industry. And Project 32, having already listed more than 140 products based on CO2, will likely focus its efforts on those that the Brazilian market must import, but can be obtained here, like methanol, urea, ascetic acid, formic acid, and others.