Low carbon industrial production using CCUS

CCUS in industrial applications faces significant challenges due to its high cost and the fierce international competition in the sectors concerned. However, these sectors currently account for 20% of global CO2 emissions, and in the 2 degree scenario, should represent half of the stored CO2 by 2050. Relevant sectors with high CO2 emissions are for example steel, iron and cement making, oil refining, gas processing, hydrogen production, biofuel production and waste incineration plants.


Projects will focus on integrating CO2 capture in industrial installations, whilst addressing the full CCUS chain. Projects will elaborate a detailed plan on how to use the results, i.e. the subsequent transport, utilisation and/or underground storage of the captured CO2. Important aspects to address are of technical (e.g. the optimised integration of capture plant with industrial processes; scalability; CO2 purity), safety (e.g. during transportation and storage), financial (e.g. cost of capture; cost of integration) and strategic nature (e.g. business models; operation and logistics of industrial clusters and networks).

Projects are expected to bring technologies to TRL 6-7 (please see part G of the General Annexes). Technology development has to be balanced by an assessment of the societal readiness towards the proposed innovations. Relevant end users and societal stakeholders will be identified in the proposal, and their concerns and needs will be analysed during the project using appropriate techniques and methods from the social sciences and humanities, in order to create awareness, gain feedback on societal impact and advancing society’s readiness for the proposed solutions. Projects should also explore the socio-economic and political barriers to acceptance and awareness with a view to regulatory or policy initiatives.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 10 to 12 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with relevant Mission Innovation countries such as China.

Expected Impact

Successful, safe and economic demonstration of integrated-chain CCUS from relevant industrial sources such as mentioned in the specific challenge will accelerate the learning, drive down the cost and thus help break the link between economic growth and the demand for industrial output on one hand, and increasing CO2 emissions on the other hand. The impact of projects under this call will to a large extent be determined by the extent to which the results will be exploited, i.e. the plan on how the captured CO2 will be actually utilised and/or stored, either in the project or planned as a future phase. This will be evaluated based on the maturity and quality of the proposed post-capture solutions. Projects under this call that are carried out in areas where there is both a high concentration of CO2 emitting industries and a nearby capacity for geological storage are considered prime sites for hub and cluster developments, and will generate the highest impact on full-scale deployment in the medium to longer term.

Delegation Exception Footnote

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities

  • Open Innovation
  • RRI
  • Socio-economic science and humanities
  • International cooperation
Application date
Social sciences : Management and Public administration, Economy