Carbon Capture Pilot Plant

Nottingham University Caron Capture Pilot Plant

Project: Carbon Capture Pilot Plant

Client: University of Nottingham


University of Nottingham’s main area of research for carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS), is in the capture of carbon before it’s released into the atmosphere. This includes using new, high-capacity adsorbents which capture CO2 either pre or post-combustion.

The project brief was for the design and supply of circulating and bubbling fluidised-bed systems (CFB and BFB) for testing new adsorbents for CO2 capture on a 5-20 kg scale using simulated and actual flue gases and Strata was appointed to design, manufacture and assemble the plant on-site, including commissioning of the equipment.

Read the full project overview for Step Change Adsorbents and Processes for CO2 Capture here

Involving Strata staff across projects, process, procurement, workshop, quality and Health & Safety, the successful delivery of this project required communication and teamwork across all departments and disciplines.


One of the biggest challenges the team faced was aligning the client’s design expectations with Strata’s scope of supply, taking into account the team’s relatively limited knowledge of the process.

Strata was utilising off-the-shelf equipment such as compressors, rotary valves and expansion joints to try to deliver against bespoke applications which, therefore, required modification.

Another challenging aspect was the distance from the workshop to site and the length of onsite time required to complete the assembly/installation, fulfil the welding requirements and the lifting operations.


By regularly communicating with the client to review progress and status, we were able to incorporate some design changes along the way. Discussions around design, safety and any issues arising meant the client was fully involved throughout the project timeline.

Standard items were modified at the machinists, essentially customising stock products at a lower cost and faster turnaround.

Strata staff were timetabled to maintain a healthy work/life balance, welders were sourced to attend site on a day rate and a manual lifting plan was put in place to negate the cost of hire and training using heavy lifting equipment.

To accommodate some third-party delivery delays, the Strata team built time into the project plans to enable final delivery on schedule.


“We have worked with Strata for a number of years and therefore had confidence and trust in their ability to build and deliver this rig. The solids looping adsorption rig is essential for taking forward our findings on developing new adsorbents for CO2 capture on their pathway to commercialisation. The rig gives us the flexibility and capability to test a number of formulations or our adsorbents on a scale up to 20 kg which is essential for planning the next stage in their development of moving to demonstration plants.”

Professor Colin E. Snape, Director of EPSRC Centre of Doctoral Training in CCS and Cleaner Fossil Energy from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham