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Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington won the Research Project of the Year at the Educate North Awards.

Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington is a collaboration between the University of Chester, Lancaster University and small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the Cheshire and Warrington area. This EU-funded initiative has established low-carbon solutions to improve the production processes of companies and develop new products which reduce carbon emissions. Research projects under the Eco-Innovation banner have so far involved six PhD and 19 Master’s degree students.

One research project is the development of a new technology for carbon capture with PMW Research Ltd. This technology is known as ‘A3C’ (Advanced Cryogenic Carbon Capture) and is intended to be utilised in shipping and smaller industrial sources, where alternative means of reducing carbon emissions are unfeasible or not cost effective.

David Cann, a PhD student at the University, developed an experimental pilot in conjunction with PMW to demonstrate the feasibility of this innovative process which makes it cheaper and easier for businesses to reduce their CO2 emissions. If A3C was applied to all target industries in the UK, it would result in an approximate 10% reduction in emissions, equivalent to half of all residential emissions, while application to the global shipping fleet could have an impact many times larger.

This project has received over £100,000 in financial investment from Eco-Innovation to facilitate new research. At a company level, this investment helped PMW develop its business and improve its potential earnings, enabling improvements for the economy by providing job opportunities.

Carbon capture is vital to decarbonising the global economy but is often seen to be too costly. The award-winning A3C carbon capture process, patented by sister company PMW Technology, has a lifetime cost of capture up to 70% lower than alternatives for small-scale applications. This project could therefore result in a significant reduction in future costs for industry, improving the wider economy by allowing companies to reduce costs, increase profits and reinvest within society, whilst also reducing emissions. The research would have not been possible without the support of Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington.

This project is just one example of many that Eco-Innovation has supported financially through sharing its expertise to create green technologies for the future.

The Educate North Awards is a prestigious awards event which celebrates, recognises and shares best practice and excellence in the education sector in the North.

David Cann said: “I am glad the Eco-Innovation project has been given such positive recognition by this Educate North Award. Decarbonisation is at the forefront of the government’s agenda and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to drive it forward with the Eco-Innovation team whose support has been invaluable throughout the project.”

Graham Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Chester, said: “This award of Research Project of the Year is a real triumph for the Eco-Innovation team and shows the strength of the Faculty’s approach to Research and Development. We are delighted to have been able to support David in his research.”

Paul Willson, Director of PMW Research said: “The award of funding by Eco-Innovation enabled us to make the vital step from concept to demonstration. Without that support and David’s excellent work we would not be where we are today, completing our follow-on pilot project and planning a large-scale prototype for our world-beating technology. Congratulations to David, his supervisor Dr Carolina Font Palma and the Eco-Innovation team for this well-deserved award.”

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