Develop large scale Carbon Capture Usage and Storage demonstrators at EPFL campus, by bringing together EPFL’s research labs with complementary competences.

Climate crisis fueled by rising CO2 levels is a major societal challenge. At the current emission rate, we will rapidly break through the climate target. Therefore, in addition to point source emission capture, energy- and cost-efficient negative emissions technologies that can extract CO2 directly from the atmosphere are urgently needed.

The captured CO2 can be sequestered or converted to materials or synthetic energy carriers using renewable energy. This requires urgent action in research and innovation focusing on sustainable CCUS technology.

Deliver large demonstrators at the EPFL campuses with CO2 flow of up to 1 ton per day, for five key pillars of CCUS:

  1. Point source capture,
  2. Direct air capture
  3. CO2 utilization
  4. Sequestration
  5. The economic enablers of this transition

These parallel layers of development will ensure a high impact on various CO2 sources and sinks from the very start.

The demonstrators will advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of critical technologies, such as Direct Air Capture (DAC) and conversion of CO2 to value-added chemicals, thus brining implementation closer to the market.

Proposed CCUS demonstrator at the site of Enevi waste incineration plant near the EPFL Valais campus

The proposed research aims at being holistic, driven by interdisciplinary collaborative projects and processes – linking fundamental research to technoeconomic analysis, life cycle assessment, societal impact, and acceptability, leading to a circular carbon cycle and economy.

The CCUS technologies developed are valorized and rolled-out to the market through collaborations with national (Enevi, Gaznat) and international (Shell, TotalEnergies, General Graphene) stakeholders, and the creation of sustainability-oriented start-ups.

The realization of much-needed CCUS technologies will enable Switzerland to achieve its net zero goal.

The project unites the expertise and competencies of 12 EPFL laboratories in three of its campuses, under the leadership of Prof. Kumar Varoon Agrawal. The demonstrator will be hosted at the industrial site of Enevi, in Valais.

See an updated presentation of the project from the 16 May 2024 Symposium on Research & Sustainability.