Net zero emissions: Scientists to turn research into real-world solutions and technologies

Projects include monitoring woodlands using drones, exploring molten salt fast reactors and capturing carbon and injecting it into underground rocks

Pathway to COP26 report

Six new projects have won funding to explore cutting the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by turning research into real-world solutions and technologies to help reach net zero.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is providing funding worth £800,000, split for early development of promising technologies and solutions that support the UK’s 2050 net zero goal.

The projects include monitoring woodlands using drones; exploring molten salt fast reactors, which are an innovative nuclear technology; tritium tracking for efficient energy generation from nuclear fusion and building a prototype zero-power dipole magnet for heaving ion beam analysis and isotope separation, helping reduce the carbon footprint of accelerator and isotope separation facilities.

The other projects include carbon capture, with the carbon dissolved in water and injected it into underground rocks as well as studying the combustion properties of ammonia aerosols as ammonia is believed to be a promising zero carbon alternative fuel for engine and gas turbine applications.

Professor Mark Thomson, STFC Executive Chair said: “We all are responsible for finding ways to reduce our carbon emissions to achieve the government’s net zero target, especially in the research and innovation sector.

“One of the ways we are doing that in STFC and across the scientific community is to look at how we conduct experiments and whether there might be more efficient ways of doing this.

“We are also taking some of the cutting-edge techniques used for pioneering research and applying those to solve some of the biggest challenges to becoming a carbon neutral nation.”

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