John Crane receives UK government funding for CCUS project

Posted on 3 Jul 2023 by The Manufacturer

John Crane, a division of the FTSE 100 industrial technology company, Smiths Group, in partnership with Cranfield University and The University of Edinburgh has been awarded £924,895.86 grant funding through the Carbon Capture, Usage & Storage (CCUS) Innovation 2.0 competition – part of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s (DESNZ) £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

The grant was awarded for John Crane’s innovative, high temperature sealing solution for supercritical CO₂ power cycle, and forms part of the British government’s multi-million boost to help UK businesses tackle carbon emissions, as the government encourages industry to stop using costly fossil fuels for cleaner alternatives.

Supercritical CO₂ power cycles are a novel process currently under consideration across the energy sector, including for CCUS. Compared with conventional steam-driven systems, they deliver higher cycle efficiencies, reduced emissions from compact turbomachinery, resulting in reduced fuel and water consumption and lower capital expenditures. Through this project, John Crane aims to develop an innovative, uncooled high-temperature dry gas seal solution for supercritical CO₂ power cycles by using new simulations, material compositions and testing validations.

This innovation, expected to work at high temperatures and pressure values, should significantly reduce leakages and potentially even enable the inclusion of an additional turbine expansion stage. Through a supercritical CO₂ cycle efficiency improvement, overall emissions will be significantly reduced, cutting the cost of CCUS and accelerating the adoption of supercritical CO₂ power cycles into existing and future power plants.

Bernard Cicut, President of John Crane, said: “The growth of technologies such as CCUS are playing a crucial and growing role in the efforts of governments and industry across the world to accelerate the energy transition. This is a major growth area for Smiths Group, particularly for John Crane, and we are constantly looking for ways to help our customers navigate the transition by reducing emissions and driving efficiency.”

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: “Britain has a long and proud history of pushing the boundaries in science – and our backing with over £80m for these cutting-edge projects today will help make way for the next era of innovation. The transition away from fossil fuels presents a huge opportunity for our growing green energy sector and we will continue to make sure UK business can benefits from its full potential.”

Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart said: “Whether it’s the first meal of the day or a night cap, the great manufacturers of our country are striving to cut their carbon emissions and their energy bills – and in turn, support our efforts to boost our energy security. Our investment of over £80 million will help them to go further and faster, using the latest science, technologies, and new energy sources to cut ties with fossil fuels and futureproof their industries.”

John Ostergren, Chief Sustainability Officer at Smiths, said: “Our partnerships with top universities such as the University of Edinburgh and Cranfield University, are helping us to develop and bring to market cutting edge technology and innovative solutions that will help solve customer challenges and accelerate the decarbonisation agenda.”

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