Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Illinois CO2 Injection Project Update

Washington, D.C. — A project important to demonstrating the commercial viability of carbon capture, utilization and storage technology has completed the first year of injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) from an industrial plant at a large-scale test site in Illinois.

Led by the Illinois State Geological Survey, the Illinois Basin–Decatur Project is the first demonstration-scale project in the United States to use CO2 from an industrial source and inject it into a saline reservoir. The CO2 is being captured from an ethanol production facility operated by the Archer Daniels Midland Company in Decatur, Ill., and is being injected in a compressed "supercritical" state into the Mount Simon Sandstone reservoir some 7,000 feet below the surface. Injection operations were initiated November 17, 2011, with an average injection rate of 1,000 metric tons (1,100 short tons) daily.

Analysis of data collected during the characterization phase of the project indicated the lower Mount Simon formation has the necessary geological characteristics to be a good injection target, a conclusion supported thus far by data accumulated from continuous monitoring of the site. The results from various monitoring activities – including tracking the underground CO2 plume; sensing subsurface disturbances; and continuous scrutiny of groundwater, shallow subsurface, land surface, and atmosphere around the injection site – show the Mount Simon Sandstone reservoir is performing as expected, with very good injectivity, excellent storage capacity, and no significant adverse environmental issues.

Nearing the 1-year mark, 317,000 metric tons of CO2 have been injected, about one third of the planned 1 million metric ton injection volume. The demonstration-scale project provides the opportunity to test how a real-world injection operation will perform where brief interruptions—such as planned maintenance of the compression equipment and conducting of various well tests, as required by regulations—will occur.

Successfully testing and demonstrating CCUS technologies under real-world conditions is an important step toward eventual commercial deployment of the technology as an option in helping mitigate atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions.

Source: NETL

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