DOE completes first year of large-scale CO2 injection testing

The DOE is reporting success after completing the first year of testing in its research on carbon dioxide capture and storage in large saline aquifers. The test is studying the feasibility of capturing CO2 from an industrial source and storing it in a compressed – supercritical – state in geological formations near Decatur, IL.

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.

04. December 2012 by Jason Hayes
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