Repsol Foundation and Universitat Rovira i Virgili launch an Energy Transition Education and Research Program, focused on CO2 capture and utilization systems

Fundación Repsol y la Universidad Rovira i Virgili
  • The Repsol Foundation , in collaboration with the Universitat Rovira i Virgili de Tarragona, launched a new Energy Transition Education and Research Program, focused on CO2capture and utilization, with the aim of contributing to expanding their knowledge in society about the energy transition and the technologies needed to combat climate change. 
  • The presentation ceremony took place last Friday in the auditorium of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and was attended by Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labor of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Antonio Brufau, Repsol Chairman, and Josep Pallarés Marzal, Rector of the University.
  • Antonio Brufau emphasized that "CO2 reduction is an absolutely urgent and necessary objective. At Repsol, we are working tirelessly to achieve our goal of becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050, and that's why we have adapted our strategy and our investments. We have a clear goal and intermediate objectives that we are meeting and will continue to do so".
  • "Faced with this challenge, it is necessary to promote policies that allow us to transform the industry to achieve climate neutrality, while still providing society with the energy it needs, safely and affordably ".
  • "It is essential to bridge the gap between research and science and industry and technology. This race is technological, not ideological" — said the Repsol Chairman.


Repsol Foundation and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) of Tarragona presented a new Energy Transition Education and Research Program that focuses on CO2 capture and utilization systems, and aims to promote greater knowledge about the role of different negative emissions technologies (also known as NET technologies) and their role in the future of net zero emissions.  

The presentation of the Education and Research Program took place today at a conference called "CO2 Capture and Utilization, an essential pillar for decarbonization", and was held in the auditorium of the Rectorate building of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in Tarragona. The event was led by Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labor of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Josep Pallarés Marzal, Rector of the URV, Antonio Brufau, Repsol Chairman, and Fèlix Llovell, Director of the Repsol Foundation Energy Transition Education and Research Program of the at the URV. The event was led by journalist Pere Estupinyà. 

During the event, the director of the Education and Research Program, Fèlix Llovell, stressed that "It is imperative that we act now to address the challenge of climate change and decarbonization, this is one of the key elements of this strategy. The Education and Research Program aims to expand knowledge about the role of the different Negative Emissions Technologies (NET) and the use of CO2 in a future of net zero emissions and inform society. The uniqueness of our territory, with one of the most important petrochemical complexes in Europe and, at the same time, a historical and patrimonial legacy to preserve, forces us to be pioneers and leaders on the road to energy transition".

Antonio Brufau pointed out that Repsol's commitment to reducing CO2 emissions is firm: "We have a clear roadmap to reach the goal of net zero emissions by 2050, with the development of new businesses in the field of renewable energies and the transformation of traditional businesses. That is why we are investing in renewable, electric generation, but we are also producing new products such as renewable fuels".  

The Minister of Business and Labor of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Roger Torrent i Ramió, also stressed that "from the Generalitat we have set the aim of promoting green transformation. A cross-company objective, which translates into impetus to the generation of clean energy; or the commitment to positioning ourselves in the field of green hydrogen, structured around the Hydrogen Valley, as an alternative for the decarbonization of heavy transport and industry". 

The rector of the URV, Josep Pallarès, stressed that this education and research program "reaffirms our commitment to industrial decarbonization. It is not the first step, it is the next step in a series of actions, such as the promotion and coordination of the Hydrogen Valley, our participation in the first inter-university master's degree in hydrogen technologies and the ten research groups working on these issues from different fields of knowledge".

The session continued with a speech by Julio Friedman, CEO of Carbon Wrangler LLC and Chief Scientist at Carbon Direct, where he emphasized the key role to be played by technologies for reducing and eliminating carbon from the atmosphere. The day ended with a round table called "Perspectives, challenges, and opportunities on the road to decarbonization to achieve net zero emissions".

Led by Fèlix Llovell, associate professor of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and coordinator of the Inter-university Master's Degree in Hydrogen Technologies, the Education and Research Program will have professors and experts from the university itself and from the group of specialized researchers from the Repsol Tech Lab — the company's innovation center in Móstoles (Madrid) — who will investigate the role of CO2 capture and utilization technologies, an essential pillar to advance towards a more sustainable and resilient society in the face of climate change.

In general terms, the Education and Research Program's main areas of will be negative emissions technologies and their potential for removing CO2 from the atmosphere; CO2 utilization technologies; and the study of the regulatory framework to enable the deployment of these technologies.

Both the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expressed the need for CO2 capture, storage, and utilization technologies to achieve carbon neutrality, without which they consider it virtually impossible to meet climate targets. They are particularly relevant in sectors where electrification or other alternatives to fossil fuels are not currently viable, such as the steel, cement or chemical industries.


The Repsol Foundation's network of education and research programs, a network to promote the energy transition 

With the creation of this new Education and Research Program, which brings Repsol Foundation closer to the energy ecosystem in Catalonia, the company continues to support and reinforce its strategy of collaboration with the academic and business environment as a tool to accelerate the achievement of decarbonization objectives, demonstrating its commitment to investment in training and knowledge and promoting a sustainable and rigorous future. 

As part of its strategy to promote scientific knowledge and support the role of universities in the field of energy transition, Repsol Foundation has several education and research programs in a network of leading universities, which now includes this new Program with the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. 

Currently, the Repsol Foundation network is made up of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, focused on the analysis and study of technologies for CO₂ capture and utilization; the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, with a program focused on the study of sustainable mobility; the Universidad de Comillas-ICAI, whose program works on analyzing ways to achieve a sustainable industry decarbonization; the Universidad del País Vasco, with a program on circular economy, as a strategy to decarbonize industry; and the Universidad de Navarra (Tecnun), focused on the role of hydrogen as an energy vector.