Imperial College London

Imperial academics provide advice to UK government on industry decarbonisation


Cement factory

Researchers from Imperial have contributed to a government analysis on the potential pathways to reducing carbon emissions from heavy industry.

The team, led by Dr Paul Fennell from the Department of Chemical Engineering, have been significantly involved in the project commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

This important work underlines the UK’s commitment to combatting climate change.

– Dr Paul Fennell

Reader in Clean Energy

Industrial processes are highly energy intensive and currently account for one-third of global energy use. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improvement of energy efficiency in industry will play a significant role in the mitigation of climate change. The project focused on the eight most heat-intensive industrial sectors, with the Imperial team contributing to the reports on iron and steel, chemicals, and cement.

Reports for each of the sectors have now been published and are available on the DECC website. Each report set out a series of potential pathways for emissions reductions in that sector and identifies steps to enable progress towards these. Production of the reports was led by Parsons Brinckerhoff and DNV GL, and was a collaborative process featuring contributions from industry, government and academic experts

Commenting on the project Dr Paul Fennell said:

“The discussions we have had throughout have been robust, and overall we are pleased with the key findings from the analyses that we took part in, whilst recognising that there will always be some points where there will be differences of opinion.  We look forward to continuing with this important work, which underlines the UK’s commitment to combatting climate change.”

Decarbonisation of heavy industry was the focus of a briefing paper produced by the Grantham Institute in 2012, which gives and overview of the technologies and policies required to reduce industrial CO2 emissions. The author of the briefing paper, Dr Tamaryn Napp, was part of the Imperial team involved in the DECC project, along with Grantham PhD student Tom Hills who contributed to the cement report. This challenge will continue to be an important area of research for academics at Imperial.


Emma Critchley

Emma Critchley
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

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Energy, Industry, Climate-change
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