Work Packages

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HERCCULES is structured along 10 WPs that will interact with a highly inter-disciplinary approach. In particular WP2-9 are devoted to the project core components, including the definition of adequate exploitation strategies, whilst WP1 and 10 are cross-cutting WPs respectively devoted to project management and quality control and to communication and dissemination activities. 

WP1: Project Management and Quality Control

The WP1 is focused on ensuring effective project management and quality control, by pursuing the following main activities:

  • establish an efficient management and decision-making structure to monitor the overall project implementation, as of the very beginning of the project life;
  • monitor overall scientific quality of project outputs through dedicated management structures;
  • design a Data Management Plan describing how data will be collected, processed or generated and how they will be shared and made accessible, curated and preserved.
  • organize regular meetings to ensure a smooth collaboration among the partners and coordination on both management and technical issues.
  • implement adequate risk management procedures for ensuring early identification of problems and enabling the timely implementation of contingency measures.
  • ensure that the reporting activities (including those related to financial aspects) are carried out in an efficient, transparent and correct manner and in accordance with European Commission rules.
  • ensure effective internal (within the consortium) and external communication (in particular with the European Commission and any relevant third party)
  • ensure efficient management of ethics issues.

WP2: Demonstration at TRL7-8 and optimisation of the hybrid CO2 capture technology in two cement plants

WP2 aims at demonstrating at TRL7-8 the HERCCULES breakthrough CO2 capture and purification technologies, considering also the safety and economic implications, by implementing the following key activities:

  • design and build a TRL7-8 pilot plant implementing the innovative and flexible hybrid CO2 capture technology, based on: oxy-fuel calcination integrated with CO2 Purification Unit and new generation post-combustion (PCC) with solvent. These goals will be obtained by designing and building (i) an oxy-fuel calciner demo plant equipped with a CPU to produce very high purity CO2, integrated in an existing cement plant owned by TITAN in Greece, (ii) a PCC pilot plant based on an optimized and improved solvent compared to the state-of-the-art, which will be initially installed and commissioned in a cement plant owned by BUZZI in Italy (with a dedicated CO2 compression and liquefaction system) and finally moved and integrated in the oxyfuel demo plant installed in TITAN cement plant in Greece, to fully demonstrate the versatility and high performance of the hybrid technology;
  • demonstrate, at TRL7-8 the hybrid CO2 capture technology, targeting improved energy efficiencies compared to benchmark processes for cement, with optimized integration with the industrial process, very high CO2 removal rates and CO2 purity and substantial negative emissions;
  • develop and validate process models to support technology development and upscaling, safety assessments and Techno-Economic Analyses of the hybrid CO2 capture technology and to compare it with benchmark processes.

WP3: Demonstration at TRL7-8 and optimisation of the Calcium Looping pilot in an Energy-from-Waste plant

WP4: CO2 utilization & resource circularity

WP4 activities aim at further strengthening the reduction of carbon footprint along the entire cement and concrete value chain, by ensuring the utilization of the captured CO2-rich streams for the production of several sustainable construction materials and aggregates, using very innovative technologies and pursuing ambitious target values

To achieve such goals the WP will ensure that the following milestones are achieved:

  • reach high purity grade certification of the CO2 captured from cement and waste to energy effluents and ensure its utilization for certified cementitious materials, for the local industry of technical gases or potentially also for food and beverage;
  • the building up of effective synergies between WtE and cement sectors;
  • the demonstration that materials deriving from WtE can be used for the cement production;
  • the cost analysis to benchmark in respect to existing products  

All the demonstration activities will be supported by experimental analysis to certify the quality of the HERCCULES raw materials/products and of the liquid CO2 delivered to the utilisation processes as well as Life-Cicle-Analysis studies, aimed at accurately assessing the carbon footprint of the technologies tested for CO2 utilization and materials circularity.

WP5: Demonstration at TRL8 of sustainable and safe CO2 storage in Italy and Greece, including permitting, logistics and scalability

WP5 will work towards the industrial scale demonstration (TRL8) of the successful and safe storage of captured CO2 in Northern Italy and Greece, taking into consideration related CO2 logistics, safety and permitting aspects, ensuring the timely implementation of the following activities:

  • CO2 transportation for demonstration activities, to be carried out by truck, as a result of the scale of CO2 capture activities and taking into consideration that full-scale CO2 transportation means are mature technologies (pipeline, ship, barge, rail, truck or a multi-mode combination of them).
  • in view of future first-of-a-kind full-scale projects, WP5 will include also the study of solutions and time-evolution of a full-scale CO2 transport system connecting the North Italian cluster and storage site as a next step beyond the project.
  • CO2 storage for demonstration activities, to be carried out at depleted reservoir sites in Italy (Ravenna Hub) and Greece (Prinos)
  • in addition to the storage demonstrations, WP5 will also enable a first assessment of operational/practical interactions and implications between key industrial players involved in the CCUS chain and its logistics, by fruitfully engaging with CO2 emitters, transporters and storage operators.
  • publication of Safe CO2 storage guidelines and lessons-learned, intended for storage operators, reporting implementation steps and tasks concerning the permitting iter and regulatory experience also with reference to the EU storage directive, and its most recent updates so as to enable new storage sites.

WP6: Optimal design of the integrated CCUS chain, including transportation, for Southern European industrial clusters

WP6 activities aim to fast track the implementation of CO2 capture, transport, and storage by identifying the optimal CCUS chain configurations, design, and operation. The key activities include:

  • Mapping of (i) the main sources of CO2 emissions, (ii) the possible utilization processes in North Italy and Greece, and (iii) of the existing infrastructure for gas transportation. This will enable a multi-scale, model-based CCUS chain analysis (capture-transport-storage) for the areas addressed by the project so as to eventually set the basis for implementation of a CO2 transport corridor in Northern Italy and Greece;
  • identifying the optimal chain design for CCUS implementation in the clusters by 2030, and its further optimal development in the context of net-zero 2050;
  • identifying the optimal integration for CO2 transport and storage between additional capture sites along the Mediterranean basin and the storage sites of Northern Italy and Greece;
  • connecting the chain optimization to technical, environmental, economic and societal performance indicators.

WP7: Exploitation towards first-of-a-kind full-scale industrial projects

WP7 aims at implementing at least seven full-scale case studies for the HERCCULES capture technologies, so as to provide detailed techno-economic studies of retrofitting CO2 capture technologies in EfW and cement plants; furthermore, the WP will produce detailed plans and strategies to ensure future upscaling, replicability and exploitation of project results by pursuing the following key activities:

  • provide at least seven detailed techno-economic studies, including safety assessment, of retrofitting CO2 capture technologies in at least 2 EfW plants and three cement plants to be selected as case studies (identified on the basis of technical and logistic criteria);
  • benchmark the HERCCULES CO2 capture systems in cement and EfW application against commercial technologies;
  • analyze the chain integration of the retrofitted plants with CO2 transportation and off-shore storage sites in Southern Europe;
  • evaluate the replicability of the case studies in the European Energy-from-Waste and cement plants;
  • prepare useful information documents for target groups particularly crucial for CCUS adoption, such as policy and decision makers, regulators, risk managers, in order to better manage projects related to CCUS development and implementation;
  • develop business strategies (input for WP9) for all potentially marketable technologies resulting from the project.

WP8: Social perception and community engagement

WP8 aims at aims at assessing socio-political and regulatory readiness among different CCUS stakeholders, with a special focus on the two areas selected for the HERCCULES storage sites in Italy and Greece. The WP is structured along an initial exploratory phase, focused on understanding the regulatory context, socio-economic profiles of the regions involved in the storage activities, and public perception of CCUS activities in the two countries. This is followed by an engagement phase, during which CCUS stakeholder committees will be established and public engagement activities conducted in regions related to the CCUS activities conducted within the HERCCULES project..  The core WP activities will be focused along the following operational areas:

  • understand public attitudes, concerns and needs regarding carbon capture, transport and offshore geological storage of CO2 in selected study areas;
  • conceptualize local and regional stakeholder perception as being embedded in the wider national and European regulatory and political context;
  • establish and enhance the participation of the local communities and stakeholders for the regions under study;

to finally develop valid public engagement strategies and recommendations.

WP9: Business and financial aspects and sustainable assessment for the full CCUS chain

WP9 aims at defining the most suitable business model for the CCUS value chain, at suggesting financial, regulatory and policy initiatives for advancing CCUS in Europe and cost-benefit analysis for CO2 scenarios for North Italian and Greek clusters by implementing the following core activities:

  • define the most suitable business model for CCUS value chain;
  • to suggest financial, regulatory or policy initiatives for advancing CCUS in Europe;
  • evaluate economics for business case studies for North Italian and Greek clusters;
  • provide an environmental (LCA) analysis of the designed CO2 chain;
  • provide a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) for different CO2 reduction scenarios for North Italian and Greek clusters.

WP10: Communication, dissemination and knowledge sharing

This WP has as main objective the communication of aims and outcomes of HERCCULES towards all target groups and the dissemination of the project results. To achieve these objectives dissemination activities at international and local level will be put in place, consisting mainly in:

  • Development and maintenance of the project website, structured in a public area and a private area and with dedicated functionalities to allow stakeholders to interact with the consortium
  • Targeted dissemination activities such as publications of scientific articles on international peer-reviewed journals, dissemination events organized by the consortium and participation to external events, distribution of promotional material, policy briefs to be sent to key policy makers and liaison activities with entities involved in other CCUS demonstration projects
  • Communication activities through the website and HERCCULES social media accounts and liaising with partners’ press offices during the entire project
  • Promotion of CCUS through training and education to contribute in raising awareness in the younger generations regarding energy production, pollution containment and environmental impact.
  • Recommendations to policy makers concerning CCUS through a co-creation process and encourage the adoption of the project developed innovation.