CO2 must be a resource instead of a problem

With the partnership INNO-CCUS, Denmark must be equipped to achieve the ambitious goals of a 70 percent reduction in CO2 in 2030 and complete climate neutrality in 2050. The new major research effort must ensure effective capture and storage of CO2, and lastly the development of methods to recycle CO2 as a building block for new materials.


We already have technologies to capture and store CO2, but the current solutions are too expensive to be used on a larger scale. There is a need to streamline the technologies so that they become economically profitable and can thus be used on a large scale.


- Denmark has set an ambitious goal that our emissions of greenhouse gases must be reduced by 70% by 2030. In the green mission-driven partnerships, we bring together talented people from the world of research and companies, who must succeed in further developing and spreading the technology for CO₂ capture, storage, or use. The missions will bring Denmark closer to our climate goals. And if we succeed here, it will also make Danish companies better off and contribute to growth and employment, says Education and Research Minister Jesper Petersen.

That is why Innovation Fund Denmark is launching a new green research partnership, and the partnership INNO-CCUS is one of a total of four missions that in the coming years will create the basis for Denmark's ambitious climate action.

INNO-CCUS is a broad-based partnership with 54 different actors. The partners are public and private actors, including universities, knowledge institutions, and large and small companies.

CO2 is removed from the atmosphere

The partnership's vision is to contribute to the climate goals by capturing, storing and using CO2. The ambition is to get completely away from fossil carbon resources and achieve the climate goals by shifting the CO2 balance in the atmosphere.

The first goal is to achieve CO2 neutrality, i.e. that the same amount of CO2 is removed from the atmosphere as is emitted. The balance can then be shifted further, so that in the long term more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere than emitted.

The partnership will, among other things, achieve this through strong international cooperation in all parts of the value chain. There is a focus on both short-term (2025), medium-term (2030), and long-term (2050) solutions and the partnership already expects to be able to deliver the first results in 2025, which will contribute to CO2 reductions.

- INNO-CCUS implied an enormous potential to quickly demonstrate a significant effect in relation to the goal of lowering CO2 emissions considerably. This is not the least due to the wide circle of partnerships we have managed to gather. It will contribute to development and research into efficient and sustainable capture methods, and at the same time increase the possibilities for storage and, not least, possible uses of CO2," says the head of Innovation Fund Denmark, Anders Eldrup.

Five action areas cover the entire value chain

There are five areas where the partnership will focus its efforts in the coming years:

1) Chemical capture of CO2. Existing technologies are scaled up, made cheaper, and implemented at large CO2 producers such as cement factories.

2) Biological capture and storage of CO2. Systems are being developed which can ensure transparent and environmentally sound methods for documenting afforestation. Production of biochar from biowaste must be improved.

3) Geological storage of CO2. Technologies and infrastructure to store CO2 underground are being improved.

4) Use of CO2. Research into new materials where CO2 is included as raw material.

5) Society and system analysis. Analyzes of where CCU technologies make the most sense and how the surrounding community responds.

With so far 20 projects within the five areas, there is both a focus on short- and long-term solutions, which together can reduce CO2 emissions most effectively. By virtue of the partnership, the necessary synergy and activity is created across the projects. The partnership expects to continue for decades to come, ensuring continuity.

- It is our ambition that the partnership activates actors from the entire value chain. It must embrace both companies with large emissions of CO2, actors who develop chemical and biological technologies to capture or bind CO2, as well as companies that handle the geological storage of CO2, which already in the short term will become a central solution. Finally, we also include partners whose projects have to go through a slightly longer maturation period and where the focus is on the use of CO2 in a wide range of products in addition to green fuels, which is covered by work in a separate Innomission, says Morten Stage, chairman of the partnership INNO- CCUS and CCS Head, TotalEnergies.

Bet required

There has been researching in the area for the last 20 years, and therefore there is already great expertise in the Danish research environments.

This provides fertile ground for the effort in the area to seriously advance the future of CO2 management.

- DTU and GEUS have strong professional environments within the capture and storage of CO2 and can quickly contribute to the high technological ambitions for development. The investment with Innomission is necessary when we must both develop new technological solutions, investigate storage options and ensure the training of the future experts who will continue the work. Fortunately, at the universities, we detect a great interest from the students in improving their skills in the field and thereby contributing to lifting this major global societal challenge in the coming years, says Erling Stenby, vice-chairman of INNO-CCUS and professor and director, DTU Chemistry.

If the large investments in making the technologies ready for a 70 percent reduction in CO2 can become a reality, it is necessary to invest elsewhere in parallel. Both legislation and the economic framework must follow if the acceleration of capture, storage, and use is to succeed.

The partnership is launching the first pool of projects now and following up with a new round in 2023.

INNO-CCUS covers two abbreviations, INNO for Innomission and the international abbreviation CCUS for Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage.


Board of the partnership INNO-CCUS

  • Morten Stage, head of CCS at TotalEnergies, chairman
  • Erling H. Stenby, professor and director at DTU Chemistry, deputy chairman
  • Mette Lind Fürstnow, Senior Director, Head of Innovation, Nature Energy
  • Jesper Ahrenfeldt, Chief Engineer, Stiesdal SkyClean
  • Bjørn Kofod, Product Manager, Pentair
  • Jesper Sand Damtoft, Group Sustainability and R&D Director, Aalborg Portland
  • Maj Wendorff, state geologist and head of Geoenergy and storage, GEUS
  • Sune D. Nygaard, director, Technological Institute
  • Andreas de Neergaard, professor and dean, RUC
  • Erik Bisgaard Madsen, vice dean, KU SCIENCE

Established Partnership Leader


Research institutions

  • Technical University of Denmark
  • Aalborg University
  • Southern Danish University
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Roskilde University
  • Aarhus university
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • GEUS
  • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology


  • Institute of Technology
  • FORCE Technology
  • DHI A/S


  • Aalborg Portland A/S
  • Ørsted Bioenergy & Thermal Power A/S FLSmidth A/S
  • Faxe Kalk A/SEuroWind Energy A/S
  • COWI A/S
  • Port of Aalborg A/S
  • Stiesdal SkyClean A/S
  • Aquagreen Aps
  • MASH Makes ApS
  • HedeDanmark A/S
  • Foresting Tomorrow ApS
  • NaturIt ApS
  • Totalenergies Upstream Danmark A/S
  • Gas Storage Denmark A/S
  • Explicit ApS
  • Danish Gas Technical Center a/s
  • Hafnium Labs ApS
  • CO2Techn ApS
  • En2save ApS
  • Greenport North P/S


  • SEGES Innovation P/S
  • The Norwegian Nature Agency
  • The Environmental Protection Agency
  • Samsø Municipality
  • The Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency
  • DUC - North Sea Unit
  • Energy Cluster Denmark
  • Thisted Municipality

The CCUS partnership works in five core areas

  • Chemical CO2 capture
  • Biological CO2 capture and storage
  • Geological CO2 storage
  • CO2 use
  • Society and systems analysis

Brief about the technologies CO2 capture, storage, and use

Capture, storage, and use of CO2 are done by capturing CO2 from the smoke from industries such as cogeneration plants.

After a series of chemical processes, CO2 can either be used to produce chemicals or green fuels, or it can be stored deep in the ground or under the sea.

CO2 storage takes place by pumping CO2 in liquid form into the porous layer of the subsoil, while the clay layer above acts as a seal.

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