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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Mission Innovation CCUS workshop, Houston, Texas

Mission Innovation (MI) is an international initiative seeking to double each government's investments in clean energy research and development over the next five years, with the goal of accelerating the pace of technology innovation to meet economic competitiveness, environmental, and energy security demands. It is estimated that the clean energy baseline doubling would make available an additional $25 to $35 billion in clean energy R&D, on top of a business-as-usual baseline investment of about $75 billion over 5 years. New investment will be focused on transformational clean energy technology innovations that can be scaled to varying economic and energy market conditions. Mission Innovation consists of the following Innovation Challenges (ICs):

  • - ​Smart Grids
  • - Off-Grid Access to Electricity
  • - Carbon Capture
  • - Sustainable Biofuels
  • - Converting Sunlight
  • - Clean Energy Materials
  • - Affordable Heating & Cooling of Buildings


The goal of the Carbon Capture IC, which is led by the USA and Saudi Arabia, is to identify Priority Research Directions (PRDs) that will lead to breakthrough technologies. This workshop covers three major themes centred on carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). The workshop focuses on identifying breakthrough low technology readiness level (TRL) research directions, i.e. TRLs 1-3/4, that are needed to achieve long-term technologies for CCUS.


The product of the workshop is a report that will be issued. The report has two high level purposes:
  • Inspire the global research community to develop breakthrough research concepts.
  • Convince the general readership, including governmental policy and funding decision makers, that these research directions are critical to meeting future global energy needs.

Some 240 experts from 22 countries attended the workshop in Houston. Work was carried out in teams in the following focus areas:

  • CO2 capture
- Solvents
- Sorbents and looping systems
- Membranes
- Combustion and other technologies
  • CO2 utilization
- Thermochemical conversion and hydrogenation of CO2
- Electrochemical and photochemical conversion of CO2
- CO2 conversion to solid carbonates
- Biological conversion of CO2
  • CO2 storage
- Injectivity and capacity
- Monitoring, verification and performance metrics
- Forecasting and managing induced seismicity
- Well diagnostics
  • Crosscut
- Crosscut was not broken down into panels but followed the developments in the other panels and produced nine PRDs itself, providing some reality-tests at the systems level for the other topics.


A total of 33 PRDs were identified and described by the teams. These will be written up into the final report.


At the workshop, IEAGHG input directly to the "Crosscut" and "CO2 storage: Monitoring, verification and performance metrics" panels. We look forward to seeing and using the results of the workshop.



Tim Dixon and Jasmin Kemper

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