Falkland resident awarded OBE in New Year Honours

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A FALKLAND resident who has the distinction of being the world’s first professor of carbon capture and storage has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.

Stuart Haszeldine told the Fife Herald that he was ‘honoured’ after being awarded an OBE for his services to climate change technologies.

He said that it was a ‘great privilege’ to receive the honour, not just for himself but also on behalf of the research team he leads at Edinburgh University - and that he and his family were already keenly anticipating a trip to Buckingham Palace!

Professor Haszeldine is research director of the UK’s largest university carbon capture and storage research group, funded by the government for essential research and development leading towards the UK’s first full-chain CCS plant.

Last year he was awarded the Geological Society’s prestigious William Smith Medal for global excellence in the applied geology of hydrocarbon fields.

Professor Haszeldine, who has lived in Scotland for almost 40 years - 10 of them in Fife - studied geology at the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, followed by three years in the research laboratories of the British National Oil Corporation.

He has previously worked on the geology of coal, oil and gas resources, and radioactive waste disposal, with a wide interest in energy provision and environmental impact.

In 1999, he was awarded the Scottish Science Prize for his work on radioactive waste disposal and environmental impact, and in 2005 he started to examine carbon capture to storage as a method to rapidly reduce emissions at large power stations.

He said: “At the University of Edinburgh, I am leading a team of researchers working on the cleaning up of carbon dioxide emissions from large power plants.

“We are also working to recapture carbon dioxide from the air, by turning agricultural and municipal wastes into biologically active charcoal, which can increase the growth of crops as well as storing carbon for many hundreds of years.

“These revolutionary changes are opportunities to invent new ways of supplying energy and heat, and to create new ‘green’ skilled jobs.”

Professor Haszeldine is also well-known locally and in 2010 was a prominent campaigner for the repair and rebuilding of an historic wall in Falkland that was demolished by developers.