Total has announced it is working with a quantum computing lab in Cambridge, UK to improve its carbon capture and storage (CCS) capabilities.

Quantum computing allows some types of operations and calculations to be carried out far faster than conventional computers. Total has said it has partnered with Cambridge Quantum Computing to improve materials which are injected with carbon dioxide during CCS.

The company has said sees promise in adsorbent materials, not to be confused with absorbent materials. Adsorbents attach carbon dioxide to the surface of materials. The company says they could allow it to capture carbon from their industrial processes, those of other industries, or directly from the air.

A statement from the company said: “The quantum algorithms which will be developed in the collaboration between Total and CQC 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.”

This comes shortly after Total announced it would work with Shell and Equinor on a CCS project on Norway’s west coast.