Clean Fossil FuelsThe College recognise that fossil fuel use will continue to be significant for some time but must transform through the carbon capture technologies and carbon storage technologies for which Imperial is a leading research centre with significant industrial funding.

Energy Futures Lab works with a wide range of research groups at the College who are working on numerous projects in the area.

The institute's work is supported by our Clean Fossil Fuels Research Theme Lead and Champions.

These are a selection of the groups working under the Sustainable Power theme at the College.

Clean Fossil and Bioenergy Group

Led by Dr Niall Mac Dowell, the Clean Fossil and Bioenergy group is a cross-departmental group with researchers from the Business School, Centre for Environmental Policy and the departments of Chemical Engineering and Earth Science and Engineering. The focus of the group is transitioning to use clean fossil and bioenergy, concentrating on three areas: electricity market modelling, above ground engineering, and below ground engineering.

Qatar Carbonate and Carbon Storage Research Centre

Led Professor Martin Blunt, the Qatar Carbonate and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC) is a cross-departmental research project with members in the departments of Chemical Engineering and Earth Science and Engineering.

The team’s expertise is in a number of different areas, including geological field studies, experimental laboratory studies to validate modelling and simulations at molecular to pore to field scales. QCCSRC’s objective is to advance the understanding of carbonate reservoirs, addressing challenges that include CCS, enhanced oil recovery and producing clean fossil fuels.

Bioenergy, Land Use and Agri-Innovation Group

Led by Dr Zoe Harris, the Bioenergy, Land Use and Agri-Innovation Group are based in the Centre for Environmental Policy. Their research interests are on the impacts of land use change, bioenergy and how we can use agri-innovation to help address some of these issues.

The team are currently looking at the feasibility of using vertical farming to cultivate bioenergy crops - which crops can we grow, where will these installations be located, what are the ecosystem impacts and can this technology be coupled with BECCS.

Digital Rocks

Led by Professor Geoffrey Maitland, the Imperial-Shell Digital Rocks Programme is a cross-department collaboration.

It aims to revolutionise the way reservoirs are characterised and how oil and gas recovery processes are designed. This is being done using a range expertise, experience and reseach focused on rock-fluid imaging techniques linked to modelling at multiple length scales. The  work is primarily funded by Shell through a five year programme.


Led by Professor Guillermo Rein, the Hazelab is based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, studying heat transfer, combustion and fire science.

Their work aims to reduce the worldwide burden of accidental fires and protect people, their property and the environment. They tackle a wide range of multidisciplinary problems using both experimental and computational methods. Their areas of expertise include forest fires, the built environment and material flammability.

Sustainable Gas Institute

Led by Dr Adam Hawkes, the Sustainable Gas Institute is a unique academic-industry partnership, and a ground-breaking collaboration between the United Kingdom and Brazil. The team provides thought leadership and drive research into the technology that could underpin a role for natural gas in the global energy landscape.

The group publishes a series of White Papers to provide globally impactful policy facing analysis, bringing clarity to contentious topics in the energy sector. They are also creating the MUSE energy systems model a novel method that takes a whole systems approach to simulate energy transitions towards a low carbon world.

Resilient and Sustainable Biorenewable Systems Engineering Model

Led by Dr Miao Guo, the Resilient and Sustainable Biorenewable Systems group is based in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Their work focuses on the user-oriented problem-solving and long-term engineering solutions in the biorenewable sectors, including bioenergy, biofuel, biochemical and bioplastics.

The team’s research activities cover areas such as biorenewable systems engineering model, Bioenergy value chains, resource recovery from wastewater, Sustainable and resource-efficient urban energy system and Life cycle sustainability evaluation of biorenewables processes and supply chains.