If you read the news, you’ve been hearing about carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) recently. In fact, we agree wholeheartedly with this Washington Post story, which said the climate change mitigation science is an underdeveloped hope.
There are many ways to bridge our world’s need for energy from fossil fuels to alternates that are more sustainable. Here in America, we’re not going to simply shut off power plants that run on fossil fuels—they provide the bulk of our energy. But burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide (CO2). We know carbon dioxide in our atmosphere contributes to global climate change by trapping the sun’s rays inside Earth’s atmosphere.
That’s why Battelle experts think CCS is worth pursuing. It’s a technology that was first deployed decades ago by the oil and gas industry to help get more oil out of a field. Operators would take liquified carbon dioxide and inject it down wells where they’d found oil, and the CO2 would flush more oil out while the CO2 stays in the rock.
This enhanced CCS can work for both the oil and gas industry and the Earth, and it can be beneficial without using it for fuel recovery. We have experts at Battelle who have spent their careers researching this topic, working to understand the geology of the United States to better realize where the rocks are receptive to the technology. They’ve worked to perfect the science of injection and monitoring.
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We have even worked with AEP to test it at a working power plant—West Virginia’s Mountaineer Plant. And we’ve shown it can be scientifically proven at scale in Michigan, where we stored a million metric tons of CO2 for the Department of Energy.
In the past month, we got another win for the science of CCS, when we got a grant from the Department of Energy called Integrated Midcontinent Stacked Storage Hub. This is a fancy way to describe exploration of further CCS demonstrations in Nebraska and Kansas. But it’s a prime example of the way government and industry can work together to achieve significant goals for the good of society.
We believe in furthering the science of CCS and want to help the U.S. Department of Energy achieve its goal of developing a commercial CCS industry.