Welcome Address

Welcome to the Net-Zero Carbon Emission Lab (NCEL). We are a specialized research group under the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. Our mission is to provide cutting-edge research, development, and innovation (RD&I) solutions for the robust assessment, monitoring, and mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Ghana.

As the country faces the difficult challenge of decarbonizing its energy and industrial sector while meeting a 10% annual increase in energy demand, the need for specialized expertise and intensive research has become increasingly important. At NCEL, we are committed to supporting Ghana's efforts to develop a data-driven path to achieving its net-zero carbon emission targets while also fulfilling the Paris Agreement and UN SDG goal 13 by 2050.

Our research activities are focused on providing reliable GHG emission assessment, monitoring, and mitigation solutions including CCUS, DAC, UHS and CO2 conversion for government and the private sector, particularly the energy industry. We aim to facilitate the transition to low-carbon forms of energy and support the sustainable economic development of Ghana and the African continent as a whole.

We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our research projects, collaborations, and team members. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn more about our work. Thank you for visiting NCEL's website.

GHG Emission is a Global Challenge that Requires a Local Approach

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a global problem that affects the entire planet. GHG emissions are primarily caused by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes. These emissions contribute to climate change, which is causing significant environmental, economic, and social impacts worldwide. Globally, the most significant sources of GHG emissions are the energy sector, transportation, industry, and agriculture. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global GHG emissions have increased by over 50% since 1990, with carbon dioxide (CO2) being the most abundant GHG. The IPCC has warned that urgent and drastic action is needed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.

In Ghana, GHG emissions are mainly caused by the energy and industrial sectors, transportation, agriculture, and forestry. Ghana's GHG emissions have been increasing steadily over the past few decades, driven mainly by economic growth and development. According to the World Bank, Ghana's total GHG emissions increased by over 70% between 1990 and 2014, with the energy sector being the largest contributor. To address the challenge of GHG emissions, the government of Ghana has committed to a range of mitigation and adaptation measures. These measures include promoting renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, promoting sustainable agriculture, and implementing climate-smart forestry and land use practices. The government has also set a target to reduce its GHG emissions by 45% by 2030, relative to business-as-usual scenarios.

Energy consumption and production contribute to about two-thirds of global GHG emissions, with the oil and gas industry alone responsible for almost half of global anthropogenic emissions. While many aspects of the energy system can be transitioned to renewable options, about 30% of global GHG emissions which come from industrial processes such as cement manufacture, iron and steel production, refineries and petrochemical processing have very limited options to decarbonize. The proposed Ghana Petroleum Hub, which will include refineries and petrochemical plants as well as the vision of government to process the abundant raw materials, produce cement, refine its gold, bauxite and steel for domestic consumption and exports will generate significant point source emissions. Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) is the most efficient technology for decarbonizing these hard-to-abate point-source emissions. NCEL has strong expertise along the entire CCUS value chain including development of sustainable carbon capture materials, advanced CO2 transport technology, storage facilities assessment and full CCUS project design, modelling and optimization. One of the main current research areas of NCEL is robust assessment of geological storage facilities for CCUS deployment in Ghana.

GHG emission assessment is a critical component of efforts to address climate change and promote sustainable development.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission monitoring and forecasting are critical components of efforts to address climate change...

Energy consumption and production contribute to about two-thirds of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Carbon emission reduction...

NCEL is Your Ideal Research Partner to Achieve Energy Transition

Africa, as a continent, contributes a relatively small share of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to the latest data from the Global Carbon Project, Africa's total GHG emissions accounted for approximately 4% of global emissions in 2020. This is significantly lower than other regions such as Asia, Europe, and North America, which collectively account for around 80% of global emissions. However, Africa's GHG emissions are increasing rapidly due to population growth, urbanization, and economic development. In fact, the African continent is projected to experience some of the fastest rates of population and economic growth over the coming decades, which could lead to significant increases in GHG emissions if appropriate mitigation measures are not put in place. Furthermore, the impacts of climate change are expected to hit Africa particularly hard due to its vulnerability to extreme weather events, limited infrastructure and resources, and high dependence on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture. As a result, there is a growing recognition among African governments, businesses, and civil society of the need to address the issue of GHG emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. NCEL provides the advanced RD&I required to help government, industry and institutions to transition to low-carbon and achieve their individual energy transition goals.

The energy transition, which is basically a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, is a complex and multifaceted process that requires significant investment in new technologies, infrastructure, and human capital to develop and deploy renewable and low-carbon energy sources. It also involves changes in consumer behaviour, policies, and regulations to promote energy efficiency, reduce energy waste, and accelerate the adoption of renewable and low-carbon energy sources. The energy transition presents both challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, the transition away from fossil fuels can be disruptive to traditional energy industries and communities that depend on them. On the other hand, the energy transition can create new jobs and economic opportunities. Moreover, the energy transition can lead to significant environmental and health benefits, such as improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and protection of natural resources.

Although the energy transition will require significant capital investment, it also presents unmatched economic opportunities. According to Bloomberg, energy transition deals accounted for about 20% of all energy-sector transactions in 2021, totalling about $1 trillion. In 2022, energy transition investment jumped 31% to draw level with fossil fuels. The world must invest at least an annual average of $4.55 trillion for the remainder of this decade in order to achieve the global emission reduction targets. The advanced GHG emission reduction technology market such as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) alone reached a value of nearly $2 billion in 2021, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% since 2016. The market is expected to grow from 2 billion in 2021 to about 6.8 billion in 2031 at a rate of about 13.8%. Africa is home to the world’s raw materials and resources that form the building blocks of almost every GHG emission mitigation technology. The continent is blessed with abundant biomass resources, clay deposits, various minerals and other suitable raw materials that are critical to the success of the energy transition and emission mitigation. NCEL provides specialised research to help the government of Ghana and the private sector to develop these resources and utilize them to build advanced solutions to position the country and the continent to benefit from this fast-growing multibillion-dollar industry.

Leading CCUS Research in Ghana

CCUS is a promising technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

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Partners and Collaborators

Here are the partners and collaborators we work with.