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Chemical Engineering student Hannah spent five weeks working on a project with clean energy project developers Progressive Energy.

Based in Gloucestershire, but with a regional office at Thornton Science Park, the company develops and delivers clean energy projects at a scale that makes a material difference to climate change.

One such project is HyNet North West – the UK’s leading industrial and multi-sector decarbonisation project, which involves the production and distribution of low carbon hydrogen and includes carbon capture and storage. The University is a collaboration partner in the HyNet North West project.

During her placement, Hannah, a student in the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, examined the technical and economic pros and cons of several candidate carbon capture technologies.

The task gave Hannah invaluable experience of working on a live project that will have a big beneficial impact on the environment. During her time with Progressive Energy, Hannah was working on part of the HyNet North West project.

Hannah explained: “My project was to research a wide range of carbon capture technology options to determine the optimal solution to capture large volumes of carbon dioxide from one particular production unit.

“I wrote a report and a presentation which informed the other employees at Progressive Energy of my findings. From this, they could make an evaluation on which was the most efficient and viable technology option.”

John Egan, North West Regional Lead at Progressive Energy, said: “It was very useful to have Hannah investigate the technical and economic advantages and disadvantages of several candidate carbon capture technologies.

“She was able to quickly eliminate several technologies which were poorly suited to the specific process conditions of the emissions source.

“Hannah delivered a very effective final presentation to a large group including some of the company directors, which prompted plenty of further discussions.”

He added: “Despite the constraints of a wholly virtual placement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hannah was able to gather data and interact with several members of the Progressive Energy team."

Hannah, who is now considering careers in chemical engineering as she completes her degree, added: “I was provided with lots of support, structure and clarity to what was expected. We would have regular video chat meetings and John and his colleagues were always available to provide help if any problems were raised, therefore I quickly adjusted to the work environment.

“From this experience, I’ve widened my knowledge on the different pathways to a low carbon future and I’m now able to understand the current issues and future projects associated with the low carbon energy market.

“I’ve also learned what it would be like to work in a research-based career, as well as working remotely in a home environment. It’s been a really valuable experience.”

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