SCDNR Home Page
University of South Carolina Home Page

Learn About Geologic Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage:

What industries produce excess Carbon Dioxide?

CO2 Emissions by Category

Source: NETL, NatCarb

 

What is carbon capture and sequestration?

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) begins with capture of CO2 at its source, such as a coal fired power plant, transporting the CO2 to a location where it can be sequestered or stored safely away from the earth's atmosphere and oceans.

Three types of CO2 sequestration are under way: terrestrial sequestration, geologic sequestration, and mineralization. Geologic sequestration is storage of CO2 within geological formations under the earth's surface. Oil, gas unmineable coal and saline water reservoirs are those best suited for CO2 sequestration.

Univ. of Utah Diagram

Source: University of Utah

 

In South Carolina we are focused on geologic sequestration in deep saline formations.

Saline Formations. Sequestration of CO2 in deep saline formations does not produce value-added by-products, but it has other advantages. First, the estimated carbon storage capacity of saline formations in the United States is large, making them a viable long-term solution. It has been estimated that deep saline formations in the United States could potentially store up to 500 billion tonnes of CO2.

Second, most existing large CO2 point sources are within easy access to a saline formation injection point, and therefore sequestration in saline formations is compatible with a strategy of transforming large portions of the existing U.S. energy and industrial assets to near-zero carbon emissions via low-cost carbon sequestration retrofits.

Assuring the environmental acceptability and safety of CO2 storage in saline formations is a key component of this program element. Determining that CO2 will not escape from formations and either migrate up to the earth's surface or contaminate drinking water supplies is a key aspect of sequestration research. Although much work is needed to better understand and characterize sequestration of CO2 in deep saline formations, a significant baseline of information and experience exists. For example, as part of enhanced oil recovery operations, the oil industry routinely injects brines from the recovered oil into saline reservoirs, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has permitted some hazardous waste disposal sites that inject liquid wastes into deep saline formations. (*Note Saline Formation information from DOE website here: http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/sequestration/geologic/)

 

What is Geologic Carbon sequestration?

Geologic sequestration is the underground storage of CO2 in existing geologic formations. The following six types of repositories provide the best oppertunites for permenant sequestration:

1) oil reserviors

2) natural gas deposits

3) unminealbe coal seams

4) deep saline formations

5) shale rich in oil or gas

6) basalt formations.

All sequestration techniques involve extensive monitoring, mitigation and verification (MMV) and continuous risk assesment of the site. Effective application of proper MMV procedures will ensure the saftey of carbon sequestration techniques with regards to human and environmental health.

*Note - The above information is from University of Utah Carbon Science & Engineering Research Group

Watch this video for more information:

 

How does it work?

DOE Interactive Program

Source: U.S. DOE

The U.S. Department of Energy has an interactive Flash program that demonstrates geologic sequestration in action, click here to save the executable file to your desktop or run it from its location. Once the model is displayed, select the interactive choices in the left-hand corner to display how CO2 concentrations will change over time.

 

Has Geologic Carbon sequestration been successful before?

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) has an active Deep Saline Storage project called the Illinois Basin — Decatur Project.

The MGSC is partnering with the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), and Schlumberger Carbon Services to conduct a large-scale multiyear deployment of geological sequestration of 1 million metric tons (1.1 million U.S. tons) of CO2 over three years. This large-scale injection will occur at the ADM plant site in Decatur, Illinois, into the Mt. Simon Sandstone saline formation, one of the most significant potential carbon storage resources in the United States, at a depth of approximately 7,000 feet (2,135 meters). A comprehensive Measurement, Verification, and Accounting (MVA) program, including shallow groundwater, soil gas, resistivity, and atmospheric monitoring was started in March 2008 and continues with the completion of four regulatory shallow groundwater monitoring wells in mid-2010. The MVA program will continue through injection and for three years after injection is complete. Drilling of the 7,230 foot (2,200 meter) well commenced in February 2009 and was completed in May 2009. A groundbreaking event hosted in April 2009 brought more than 200 visitors to the site. A second geophysical well was drilled and completed in September 2009. This 3,200 foot (975 meter) well has geophones cemented in place for enhanced data recovery during repeat walk-away vertical seismic profiles planned throughout the project. A three-dimensional seismic data baseline survey was completed in January 2010. A deep in-zone monitoring well has been drilled and will be completed in April 2011. The compression/dehydration facility is nearing completion and a pipeline to carry CO2 from the ethanol production facility to the wellhead is finished. Injection of CO2 is expected to begin in mid-2011. For progress on the Decator site visit: http://sequestration.org/

 

The Norwegian oil company, Statoil, is injecting approximately one million tonnes per year of recovered CO2 into the Utsira Sand, a saline formation under the sea associated with the Sleipner West Heimdel gas reservoir. The amount being sequestered is equivalent to the output of a 150-megawatt coal-fired power plant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geologic Carbon Sequestration

Geologic sequestration is the underground storage of CO2 in existing geologic formations. The following six types of repositories provide the best oppertunites for permenant sequestration:

1) oil reserviors

2) natural gas deposits

3) unminealbe coal seams

4) deep saline formations

5) shale rich in oil or gas

6) basalt formations.

All sequestration techniques involve extensive monitoring, mitigation and verification (MMV) and continuous risk assesment of the site. Effective application of proper MMV procedures will ensure the saftey of carbon sequestration techniques with regards to human and environmental health.

*Note - The above information is from University of Utah Carbon Science & Engineering Research Group

 

Education Links

NETL Carbon Sequestration - Reference Shelf

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - Wikipedia

U.S. Department of Energy - Geologic Sequestration Research