CO2 Field Projects
Wallula Basalt Pilot Injection Test – Battelle researchers based at PNNL are monitoring the pressure recovery at the bottom of a 2,900-foot injection well after injecting about 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the well over a 24-day period in July and August 2013. Once the recovery has reached pre-injection conditions, they will take fluid samples at selected depth intervals within the injection reservoir. As CO2 dissolves into water and interacts with the surrounding basalt, various mineral interactions are created, which will be monitored by analyses performed on the fluid samples. These analyses, and others, will help researchers determine whether greenhouse gas can be stored safely and permanently in basalt flows. Battelle, which operates PNNL for the U.S. Department of Energy, teamed with Boise Inc. and Praxair, Inc. to conduct the CO2 injection phase of the pilot project. The joint research is conducted under the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership, which is led by Montana State University and funded by DOE and a consortium of industrial partners. For more information see the PNNL news release.
FutureGen 2.0 – FutureGen 2.0 is a first-of-its-kind, near-zero emissions coal-fueled power plant. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the FutureGen Industrial Alliance will upgrade a power plant in Meredosia, Ill., with oxy-combustion technology to capture approximately 1.1 million tons of CO2 each year—more than 90 percent of the plant’s carbon emissions. Other emissions will be reduced to near-zero levels. Using safe and proven pipeline technology, the CO2 will be transported and stored underground at a nearby storage site, which will also include a visitors center and research and training facilities. The CO2 will be then compressed, injected and stored into the Mt. Simon sandstone formation at a depth of about 1,500 meters (4,921 feet). This is far deeper than where drinking water, oil, and gas generally exist.
In support of this project, PNNL scientists characterized several potential storage sites before selecting Morgan County, Illinois, as the preferred one (see figure). Characterization of the CO2 injection zone was conducted by PNNL in 2012 and was based on analysis of wellbore data, including cores, geophysical logs, and hydrologic well testing, along with other geophysical and structural data. State-of-the-art seismic reflection imaging technology was an important component to define the geometry of the reservoir. The FutureGen power plant is expected to begin operation in 2017.
FutureGen Industrial Alliance– The FutureGen Industrial Alliance was formed to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy on the FutureGen 2.0 project. The Alliance, which includes some of the largest coal producers, coal users, and coal equipment suppliers in the world, is researching, developing, and demonstrating near-zero emissions coal technologies to support the commercialization of the FutureGen concept.