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Air Liquide Joins Illinois CO2 Sequestration Demonstration

Ilco2
Illinois Basin CO2 sources (red) and sinks (green). Click to enlarge. Source: MGSC

Air Liquide is joining Phase II of a carbon sequestration research project of the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) and sponsored by the US Department of Energy and the Illinois Office of Coal Development. The project is being led by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS).

Air Liquide, a world leader in industrial and medical gases, is already a partner in several CO2 sequestration research projects including those in Canada and Poland. Its R&D center in Countryside, Illinois has been working on a CO2 sequestration project since 2003.

Phase II of the MGSC project involves six real-scale CO2 injection tests which will last until 2009. Air Liquide will provide 19,000 tons of liquid CO2 to be injected during these tests as well as storage tanks for the CO2. Air Liquide will also provide its expertise in the design of the injection skid and assistance in analyzing the results to ensure that the buried CO2 will remain trapped in the deep geological layers.

Among the technical goals of the basin monitoring, mitigation, and verification (MMV) project are:

  • To establish baseline conditions to assess impacts of CO2 storage;

  • To identify the location of the CO2 plume; and

  • To detect and to quantify CO2 seepage to the biosphere.

Other industry partners in the project include: Aventine Renewable Energy, British Petroleum, Drummond Coal, LincolnLand Agri-Energy, Peabody Energy, Power Holdings, and Schlumberger.

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Comments

Aussie

This is putting the cart before the horse. Problem B is whether the CO2 will stay in place. Problem A is whether the CO2 can be captured and liquified at a financially viable cost.

It would be interesting to know how much the 19,000 tons of liquid CO2 cost the sponsors. Half a mil?

shaun mann

it seems like there are two things that need to be done about sustainable CO2 and these guys are addressing the less interesting one and doing it in a very 1950s fashion.

the first thing that needs to be done is to reduce the rate of (and eventually stop) transfer of CO2 from the ground to the air. this is the interesting one and will mark the technical maturation of humanity. right now, humanity is growing like a teenager, using up our stored fat (oil) from our childhood. this is obviously unsustainable and we are a bit reckless about it. at some point, these stored-up resources will be depleted and we'll have to find a way to support ourselves. this is, of course, do-able, but presently very hard to imagine.

the second is to determine what the ideal CO2 concentration in the air is and manage the CO2 to achieve this concentration. there are a huge number of factors to consider and good enough models obviously don't exist yet, but i think we'll end up doing this t some point. i think we'll do it in a more organic manner, though, possibly by encouraging farmers to delay harvesting their tree farms or by adding nutrients to the ocean to encourage algae blooms or encouraging every land owner to plant 5 trees per acre (yes, i know trees are not permanent traps, but they will hold the carbon for at least a century or two). all of these examples involve very minimal costs and provide real results.

industrial solutions like in the article above just seem inefficient and a bit clumsy.

Dave Zeller

Putting Carbon Dioxide into the ground right over the biggest earthquake fault in the Western Hemisphere is not an act that I would describe as very intelligent!

Bike Commuter Dude

I agree, there are more elegant ways of doing this...

Emissions to Biodiesel is the most promising right now, in my humble opinion. At least get some extra bang for your C02 buck.

Paul Dietz

Putting Carbon Dioxide into the ground right over the biggest earthquake fault in the Western Hemisphere

Which fault is that? The New Madrid fault doesn't qualify (neither the biggest in the western hemisphere, nor under Illinois at all.)

SJC

I would like to see them put CO2 in gas form into old natural gas wells. The natural gas business uses wells to store natural gas during summer months to provide a buffer during high usage in the winter. I would imagine that after 50 years of pulling natural gas out of the ground there are lots of these wells. If they can store natural gas for 1000s of years, I think they might be able to store CO2 for a while.

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