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Actions required to develop a roadmap towards a Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Strategy for Scotland


Scottish Enterprise (SE) commissioned this report to better understand the required actions in developing a roadmap towards a carbon dioxide (CO2) utilisation strategy for Scotland. The report provides an overview of CO2 utilisation with respect to opportunities in Scotland and provides recommendations for further steps for Scotland to explore and develop its potential in this area.


The study involved desk-based research and consultation with stakeholders.


The study found that Scotland is uniquely advantaged for the development of a world leading CO2 utilisation sector as it has: a significant source of high quality biogenic CO2 from the food and drink sector; vibrant CO2 utilisation, hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) academic communities; and a significant renewable energy resource. CO2 utilisation or Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) has the potential to help Scotland shift to a lower-carbon, more sustainable and more circular economy through better management and re-use of its carbon. Other key findings include that: CCS and CO2 utilisation are complementary and should both be part of Scotland’s overall strategy for CO2 management, therefore CO2 utilisation should not be considered a substitute to CCS; reportable CO2 emissions from large Scottish onshore emitters are around 10 million tonnes per year, of which 4.3 million tonnes per year has been identified as a potential for capture; the potential supply of CO2 is therefore much greater than the current estimated demand of 200,000 tonnes per year for CO2 in Scotland; CO2 utilisation provides a way to integrate CO2 into the economy in a circular manner, with the potential to use CO2 as a feedstock to make valuable products; and CO2 utilisation also offers the potential to store ‘surplus’ electricity at times of oversupply via the creation of synthetic hydrocarbons. The Grangemouth region was clearly identified as the location for any longer-term strategic aspiration to create a CO2 utilisation hub of scale in Scotland, as it would be an industrial location that would be straight forward to tie into CCS infrastructure (with access to significant volumes of CO2). It is also Scotland’s largest manufacturing region with access to a deep and broad Chemical Sciences knowledge base and its associated supply chains.


The overall recommendation of the report is that SE should prioritise the development of a roadmap for CO2 utilisation in Scotland to help accelerate its development and deployment. The report suggests that the creation of a roadmap to develop a strategy for CO2 utilisation requires the preparation of a greater depth of evidence. Several early actions were therefore recommended to increase the evidence base, followed by near-term actions focused on the type of policies that would be helpful to attract and encourage companies to invest and grow in Scotland to take advantage of its CO2 resource. Further actions to position Scotland as a place to come and develop and deploy CO2 utilisation technologies were also made.

Author University of Sheffield
Published Year 2017
Report Type Research
  • Sectors
    Chemical sciences, Energy
  • Equity
    Sustainable development