Climate Change is the single biggest threat to present and future generations. To meet the ambitious targets for net-zero CO2 set out by the UK government and in line with Paris Climate Agreement requires technological mobilization on an unprecedented scale – with action required in both rapid development and rapid deployment of new approaches. A paradigm shift in the UK’s research and development capabilities is needed to reduce time to market for novel and sustainable solutions for energy production and consumption. Successful rapid translation requires deep and coherent interactions between academia and industry, along with a shared vision and commitment.

Across the range of proposed technological strategies for CO2 reduction - either at source or via post-combustion mitigation - limitations in efficiency, stability or lifetime are associated with the role of key material interfaces in the systems, and their evolution in the operating environments. Such examples can be taken from a range of systems, from carbon capture and subsurface storage, through interfaces in new electric vehicles to nanoscale materials for catalysts or energy recovery.

This 5-year EPSRC funded Prosperity Partnership between Imperial, Diamond and Shell, aims to increase our fundamental understanding of interface behaviours through a cross-cutting approach studying morphology, structure and chemistry from the atomic to the macroscale, and their dynamic evolution under a range of extreme operational parameters.