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Global energy company Total has signed a multi-year partnership deal with UK start-up Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) to conduct research and development of new solutions to advance carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

Total and CQC will develop new algorithms to simulate physical and chemical mechanisms in new nanoporous materials (Adsorbents). These materials could – among others – be used to trap carbon emitted through Total’s industrial activities.

The new algorithms will simulate all the physical and chemical mechanisms in these adsorbents as a function of their size, shape and chemical composition, and therefore make it possible to select the most efficient materials to develop. Currently, such simulations are impossible to perform with a conventional supercomputer, which justifies the use of quantum calculations.

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Total will re-use and store carbon captured as part of efforts by the firm to be a major player in carbon capture, utilization and storage sector. Total currently invests up to 10% of its annual research and development effort in this area.

Marie-Noelle Semeria, the CTO of Total, said: “Total is very pleased to be launching this new collaboration with Cambridge Quantum Computing. Quantum computing opens up new possibilities for solving extremely complex problems. We are therefore among the first to use quantum computing in our research to design new materials capable of capturing COmore efficiently. In this way, Total intends to accelerate the development of the CCUS technologies that are essential to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.”

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Ilyas Khan, CEO of the UK start-up, said: “We are very excited to be working with Total, a demonstrated thought-leader in CCUS [Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage] technology. Carbon neutrality is one of the most significant topics of our time and incredibly important to the future of the planet. Total has a proven long-term commitment to CCUS solutions. We are hopeful that our work will lead to meaningful contributions and acceleration on the path to carbon neutrality.”