Friday, April 24, 2009

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program

DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program involves two key elements for technology development:

Core Research and Development

Demonstration and Deployment

The Core Research & Development part contains 5 different areas of focus for developing the technology to sequester CO2 -

1. CO2 Capture

2. Carbon Storage

3. Monitoring, Mitigation, and Verification

4. Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Control

5. Breakthrough Concepts.

Core R&D is accomplished through laboratory and pilot-scale research aimed at developing new technologies and new systems and it provides technology solutions which support Demonstration and Deployment in the areas of Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, FutureGen, and other commercial opportunities.

Experiences with Demonstration and Deployment provide "lessons learned" which are used by Core R&D in developing further technology solutions.

From the WEB SITE -

What is Carbon Sequestration?

Carbon sequestration encompasses the processes of capture and storage of CO2 that would otherwise reside in the atmosphere for long periods of time. DOE is investigating a variety of carbon sequestration options. Geologic sequestration involves the separation and capture of CO2 at the point of emissions followed by storage in deep underground geologic formations. Terrestrial sequestration involves the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere by plants and microorganisms and its storage in vegetative biomass and in soils. There is significant opportunity to use terrestrial sequestration both to reduce CO2 and to obtain the ancillary benefits such as habitat and water quality improvements that often result from such projects. The DOE is focusing its efforts for terrestrial sequestration on increasing carbon uptake through reforestation and amendment of minelands and other damaged soils. In addition, regional efforts are examining terrestrial sequestration through various land management techniques including no-till farming and wetland restoration.

It is expected that large numbers of new power plants and fuel processing facilities will be built in the coming decades, in both the developing world as well as in some areas of the developed world, such as the U.S. and Canada. These new facilities, along with existing plants having the potential for being appropriately retrofitted, will create ample opportunities for deploying efficient and cost effective CO2 capture technologies. DOE's CO2 capture efforts seek to cost effectively capture and purify CO2 using post-combustion, pre-combustion, or oxy-combustion technologies for carbon capture.

Geologic sequestration is defined as the placement of CO2 into an underground repository in such a way that it will remain permanently stored.

DOE is investigating five types of underground formations for geologic sequestration, each with different challenges and opportunities for CO2 sequestration: (1) mature oil and natural gas reservoirs, (2) deep unmineable coal seams, (3) deep saline formations, (4) oil- and gas-rich organic shales, and (5) basalt formations.

The process of CO2 sequestration includes monitoring, mitigation, and verification (MM&V) as well as risk assessment at the sequestration site. DOE's MM&V efforts focus on development and deployment of technologies that can provide an accurate accounting of stored CO2 and a high level of confidence that the CO2 will remain permanently sequestered. Effective application of these MM&V technologies will ensure the safety of sequestration projects with respect to both human health and the environment, and provide the basis for establishing carbon credit trading markets for sequestered CO2. Risk assessment research focuses on identifying and quantifying potential risks to humans and the environment associated with CO2 sequestration and helping to ensure that these risks remain low.