Make the Future with carbon capture and storage

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The month of May finished on a chocolate high for the Institute’s public engagement specialist, Kirsty Anderson. Over the holiday weekend, Kirsty joined a lively team of volunteers from Shell and Imperial College London, to manage a carbon capture and storage exhibit at the Shell Make the Future event in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Make the Future is a fun-filled international festival of ideas and innovation that takes over a large section of London highly innovative energy exhibits including Kinetic Zorbs and a full racetrack where they host the Shell Eco-marathon.

The CCS exhibit featured Shell’s “CCS Lift” - a surround-sound, audio visual experience that feels like you are rising far into the sky then deep underground, following the carbon dioxide (CO2) as it is stored in porous rock formations.

Participants attend a mini version of a CO2degrees education workshop to learn about greenhouse gases and what we can do to reduce the CO2 in our atmosphere. Each short session ended with a chocolate challenge. All participants were encouraged to test out a selection of chocolate bars to find the ones that shared the same properties(porosity and permeability) as our CCS rocks.

Each day, we had around a thousand participants at our stand, with large school groups and families all competing to find the perfect ‘chocolate rocks’ for CO2 storage. 

In the midst of experimenting with earth science, there was also some serious outreach work going on. Many visitors to the exhibit had no prior knowledge of CCS and it was a real privilege to be answering questions and witnessing people truly engage with the issues of climate change, emission reductions and beginning to understand the scale and impact that CCS technology can offer. 

Here are some photos from the event.