The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) project in Decatur, Illinois, has begun operation by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into a large saline reservoir. This project received a $141-million investment from DOE, matched by over $66 million in private-sector cost share.
Led by the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), the large-scale major demonstration project is demonstrating an integrated system for collecting CO2 from an ethanol production plant and geologically storing the CO2 in a deep underground sandstone reservoir. The CO2 is a byproduct from processing corn into fuel-grade ethanol at the ADM plant through biological fermentation.
The CO2 will be stored in the Mt. Simon Sandstone in the Illinois Basin—one of the largest saline aquifers in the world. While the project can store approximately one million tons of CO2 per year at depths of approximately 7,000 feet, researchers estimate that the sandstone formation can potentially store more than 250 million tons of produced CO2 each year.
Nearly 50 years of successful natural gas storage in the Mt. Simon Sandstone indicates that this saline reservoir and overlying seals should effectively contain stored CO2.