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Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership

The Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership (BSCSP) is part of Montana State University’s Energy Research Institute and one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) seven regional carbon storage partnerships. The partnership is helping identify the best approaches for permanently capturing and storing regional carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions underground. It is drawing on wide-ranging existing technologies to develop novel approaches for both geologic and terrestrial carbon storage in its geographic region, which includes Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, and eastern Washington and Oregon. The partners—universities, national laboratories, private companies, and state agencies—play an integral role in supporting DOE’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program and BSCSP pilot and demonstration projects.

Wallula Carbon Capture Storage Basalt Project – PNNL has successfully obtained the world’s first permit to inject up to 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) to a depth of 884 meters (2,900 feet) in a continental flood basalt region. In 2009, PNNL successfully completed drilling a CO2 injection borehole about 1,219 meters (4,000 feet) deep near Wallula, Washington. Researchers conducted a combination of field and laboratory tests, including rock and geochemical sampling, hydrologic testing and geophysical surveys and computer modeling to determine the most appropriate zone for CO2 injection. PNNL will monitor and measure the long-term effects of CO2 on the basalt reservoir, the surrounding soil, and groundwater. The Wallula Project is part of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership.

Big sky equipment

Geological Carbon Storage Research at PNNL

Energy and Environment Directorate