New Atlas Details More Than 3.5 Trillion Tons of Possible CO2 Storage Capacity in US and Canada
31 March 2007
|Primary sources of stationary CO2 emissions in the US and Canada. The color of the dots indicates the type of source, the diameter, the magnitude of emissions release. Click to enlarge.|
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships have identified carbon storage capacity in the US and Canada of more than 3.5 trillion tons. That’s approximately 900 years of storage for stationary CO2 emissions generated at today’s rate of 3.8 billion tons per year.
The results are detailed in the new Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada, which is available online.
US emissions of CO2 from such stationary sources in 2004 were approximately 3.4 billion tons. Another 2.5 billion tons came from small sources not subject to capture, including transportation.
|Different types of available sinks. Click to enlarge.|
Created by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Atlas was developed jointly with the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, and the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographical Information System (NATCARB). Its main purposes are to:
Provide an overview of the lifecycle of CO2 through the capture and sequestration processes.
Summarize the DOE’s activities in sequestration research and development.
Present information about the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships' activities.
Emissions of CO2 have increased from an insignificant level two centuries ago to more than 30 billion tons worldwide today. If no effort is made to reduce CO2 emissions, yearly release from the United States could increase by one third from 2005 to 2030, according to DOE.
The Office of Fossil Energy supports a number of carbon sequestration initiatives including a vigorous research and technology development program. The atlas will aid these efforts by providing maps and information at both national and regional levels, including:
CO2 stationary emission sites, such as powerplants, refineries, and other fossil-fuel-consuming industries.
Geologic formations suitable for permanent CO2 sequestration.
Capacity estimates of CO2 storage in these various geologic formations.
DOE formed the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership program, which draws from seven distinct regions in the United States and Canada, in 2003 as a response to the geographic differences in fossil fuel use and sequestration potential. Funded through the National Energy technology Laboratory (NETL), the program consists of government agencies, universities, and private companies—more than 400 organizations, including 40 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 3 Indian Nations.
The atlas is being published in both static and interactive versions. The interactive version, a frequently updated resource, is located at the NATCARB website. The NATCARB project is funded by NETL and maintained by the University of Kansas Geologic Survey; project data is maintained and enhanced locally at the Regional Partnership level.
The static version of the Atlas is available for viewing and is downloadable today at the NETL web site. The same information will be available in printed form in May 2007. Both versions will be updated every two years.
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