Science over summer in Regina

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A hand comes down from the top of the image to push the element carbon into a storage box.
Away with you! OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay, manipulated by Lee Lim

A program hosting students to learn about carbon capture and storage 

Summer turned out productive for the 40 Ph.D., postdoctoral, engineering, and policy students who got the opportunity to attend the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme’s (IEAGHG) Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) summer school from July 9-15 in Regina.   

IEAGHG is a collaborative international programme which was founded in 1991 under the International Energy Agency. It aims to provide information about the role technology can play in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases in the environment. Their main focus is Carbon Dioxide Capture and Utilization and Storage (CCS/CCUS), as carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important greenhouses gas known to play a major role in climate change. IEAGHG funds the research and development of technologies that can facilitate carbon capture, utilization and storage.  

IEAGHG’s week-long summer school entailed a deeply immersive experience which took the participants through a detailed overview of the existing CCS technology. The diverse group of students coming from 29 different countries were selected from a pool of applicants based on merit, recommendation, and their interest in the subject.  

The selected individuals got to witness the CCS technology in action and learn more about the role technology can play in achieving the global carbon emission targets. The experience also included a field trip to SaskPower’s fully integrated Boundary Dam Unit 3 (BD3) Carbon Capture and Storage Facility. The facility was started in 2014, and one thing worth noting about it is that it is the first and only CCS facility on a commercial power plant in the world that has captured and safely stored more than 5 million tonnes of CO2 since it began operation.   

IEAGHG through this programme aims to broaden the knowledge spectrum of CCS technology in both developing and industrialized countries. By getting more individuals informed and educated, the school attempts to deliver important lessons that can be learned from the BD3 and existing CCS technology about carbon capture, utilization, and storage. The ultimate goal is to further promote the development and deployment of next generation CCS technology globally in an attempt to curb the effects of carbon dioxide on climate change in a sustainable and efficient manner. The school covers technical aspects of CCS such as capture, transport, storage, and industrial uses through regulation, policy, financing, and communication.    

With an agenda as important as CCS, it is no wonder that the school also attracts experts from across the world who have the most-current knowledge on the subject. In fact, it boasts over 677 alumni representing over 59 countries with successful careers in CCS technology and academia.  

IEAGHG’s summer school is an annual event that travels through the globe and has been hosted in about eight different countries covering Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. 2023 being its 15th year, this July marked the fourth time the school returned to Regina. Part of the reason so many iterations have been held in Regina is that the International CCS Knowledge Centre is based in Regina, meaning there are always chances that they might schedule the programme here yet again. Science enthusiasts, keep an eye out!  

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