Sunday, February 28, 2010

First Look at Carbon Capture and Storage in a West Virginia Coal-Fired Power Plant [Slide Show]

CO2 Capture and Storage Gains a Growing Foothold - Feb 2010

From the web site -

The Mountaineer plant in West Virginia is the first power plant in the world to capture and store underground a portion of its CO2 emissions. The Philip Sporn power plant is visible in the distance.But just beyond Sporn's waste ponds stands the steaming cooling tower of American Electric's Mountaineer Power Plant, which burns 12,000 tons of coal a day to produce steam in a single massive boiler and generate up to 1,300 megawatts of electricity. Roiling white water vapor billows out of its 100-story smokestack, a visible sign of the scrubbers and other technology that remove as much as 98 percent of the plant's sulfur dioxide emissions and 90 percent of its nitrogen oxides.

And to top it off, since October, an oversized chemistry set employs baker's ammonia (ammonium carbonate) to strip more than 90 percent of the CO2 from a small portion of the Mountaineer plant's waste gas and turn it into ammonium bicarbonate. Heat and pressure in another part of the carbon-capture machine turn that back into baker's ammonia, delivering a nearly pure stream of CO2 gas that is compressed into a liquid and pumped into two wells that drop 1.5 miles beneath the earth. There, the captured CO2 is stored permanently between grains of rock.

Mountaineer's chilled ammonia unit collects about 1.5 percent of the plant's flue gas and runs it through a chemical process to capture more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide.

If Sporn represents the dirty past of coal-fired electricity generation, Mountaineer is the future - the first power plant in the world to both capture and store underground any part of its CO2 emissions.

At this point, Mountaineer stores less than 2 percent of the more than 500,000 metric tons of CO2 pumped out each month by the power plant, which generates enough electricity for 1 million American homes

Read the full article here

Call to Action - Join the Fight Against CO2 Sequestration in Randolph County, Indiana

Join the fight against CO2 Sequestration in Randolph County on Tuesday, March 2nd.

The open forum is at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room on Columbia Street in Union City, Indiana.

Every voice matters.

Potential impacts of CCS to underground sources of drinking water

Water is our most precious resource - one we often take for granted.  Much of the United States is predicted to have a water shortage.... we need to take great measures to protect it.

CO2 sequestration is also known as "CCS"  or "GCS" - for geological carbon sequestration.

Risks to our drinking water -
The following quotes come the article linked at the end of this posting.
"There are several potential scenarios by which a USDW may be impacted by GCS activities. Potential pathways include upward migration, fractured cap rock, faults, trace contaminants included in the CO2 stream, a microannulus outside the final casing, and the mobilization of metals from native minerals."

"The success of GCS relies on the structural integrity of confining units, for trapping CO2 in underlying permeable formations. Injection of CO2 into the receiving aquifer has the potential to cause deformation, trigger seismicity, reactivate faults, and compromise seals in wells. Each of these processes could increase the risk of leakage jeopardizing containment and the protection of groundwater quality." 
"Risk is typically defined as the product of the probability of occurrence of an event and the negative consequence of the event. There are concerns that there is limited likelihood data concerning the consequences of GCS, which might result in either over or underestimation of chances of occurrence. Water purveyors take pride in meeting their mandate to protect the public health by providing safe clean drinking water.

While the probability of a USDW being significantly impacted may be low, the negative consequences of any such incident have the potential to be very high. The proposed rule requires operators of GCS facilities to provide financial assurances adequate for corrective actions, plugging and abandonment of wells, post injection site care and closure, and emergency response for failed injection wells. The question of how to structure liability for long-term risks to USDWs associated with the geologic sequestration of CO2 has not yet been resolved."
Read the full article here

Shell CO2 stocking plans under fire in the Netherlands

Our friends in the Netherlands are in the midst of a battle with Shell Oil to stop a CO2 project under their densely populated city - whenever a government and/or company want to do something that impacts the environment, the people living there should have a say.... they oppose it. We hope Shell respects the wishes of the people who live there - Barendrecht is their HOME.

A carbon capture and storage facility that is planned in the Netherlands faces harsh criticism and active protesting.
A plan by oil giant Shell to store 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year in a depleted gas reservoir beneath the Dutch city of Barendrecht has drawn the ire of residents and local officials who have vowed to thwart it.

"We are going to do everything to oppose this project," declared Barendrecht deputy mayor Simon Zuurbier, who voiced fears for the safety of the city's 50,000 inhabitants.
"We are taking legal action to get it cancelled and we'll approve none of the required permits."
Read the full article here

Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) in geological formations in INDIA

I've included this article that is specific for INDIA because it does a nice job of explaining the process and has several links at the end.

Diagnostic Monitoring of Biogeochemical Interactions of a Shallow Aquifer in Response to a CO2 Leak

A grant to watch -

EPA Grant Number: R834503
Title: Diagnostic Monitoring of Biogeochemical Interactions of a Shallow Aquifer in Response to a CO2 Leak
Institution: Columbia University in the City of New York
Project Period: September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2012
Project Amount: $899,882
RFA: Integrated Design, Modeling, and Monitoring of Geologic Sequestration of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide to Safeguard Sources of Drinking Water (2009)
Research Category: Drinking Water

CO2 injection into deep geological formations capped by low permeability formations is one of the most promising alternatives for mitigation of anthropogenic climate change. Several deep pilot and demonstration projects are underway. However, the upward leakage of CO2 or mobilized brines through the cap rock could lead to vulnerability of shallow, overlying drinking water aquifers. Elevated levels of dissolved CO2 might affect microbial community dynamics and mobilize natural-radioisotopes, metals, and other non-potable elements and compounds. The proposed research will investigate a shallow potable water aquifer system in sand/clay sequences of the Newark Basin group using laboratory and in situ methods and test how it would respond to a high-level CO2 condition caused by a hypothetical leakage of CO2 from deep injection reservoirs. In particular, we will (1) determine metal release rates as a function of pCO2 and pH under laboratory and field conditions, (2) measure microbial community dynamics as a function of increased acidity and dissolved metal concentrations, (3) determine the role and persistence of microbial communities in the mobilization or immobilization of metallic elements, (4) measure in situ/ex situ mobilization and immobilization of metals under high-level CO2 conditions, (5) determine the extent to which leaked CO2 is geochemically trapped in the aquifer, and (6) develop diagnostic monitoring techniques to advance assessments of groundwater contamination risks and water quality deterioration due to a CO2 leakage event.

We will conduct a series of geochemical and microbiological laboratory experiments using rock and water samples extracted from a shallow aquifer. We will also add CO2 (pCO2 up to 5 bars) to local groundwater, re-inject it into the aquifer, and then sample and monitor the elevated-CO2 aquifer water in a series of in situ push-pull and forced-gradient experiments.

Expected Results:
Results from these coupled laboratory and field experiments will greatly improve our understanding of the geochemical and microbiological reactions under low pH - high CO2 stress. We anticipate that this research will: (1) provide criteria for site selection for geological CO2 sequestration, (2) identify aquifers that would be least vulnerable to risks of CO2 leakage and subsequent contamination, and (3) provide a small number of diagnostic testing parameters that may be used in other potable aquifer systems associated with deep CO2 injection.

Supplemental Keywords:
sequestration, pollution prevention, metals, pathogens, groundwater,

More CO2 storage than previously thought for Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio

Despite the fact that CCS is extremely expensive, risky, and hard to monitor and is very controversial  --- the studies and push for CCS continues.  It simpley makes no sense to we find a report  from December 2009 that says we can store about 74% more!  NO THANK YOU!

As a reminder - In Ohio, a large portion of the Mt Simon Sandstone sits below one of the largest fresh water aquifers in the world -  our most precious resource. States are running out of water...

Much of the proposed CO2 to be used for CCS in the midwest comes from ethanol plants.....  in our area we had a great harvest last year with the extra CO2 -  if CCS is so "safe" why are there no plans to  inject it under the cities that produce the bulk of it? 

I do remember reading a study done  in Ohio that said it would not happen in Columbus, Ohio because "it was too urban and densely populated".

The quote below is from the article that is linked below...
The total storage capacity for the region, calculated, using efficiency factors of 0.01 and 0.04, is estimated to be 37.8 and 151.2 billion metric tons of CO2 respectively. This is approximately 74 percent higher than the values of 21.7 and 86.9 billion metric tons of CO2 estimated by the MRCSP for the capacity of the Mount Simon Sandstone in the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.
 Read the abstract here...


Below is the link to this article.... if you scroll down to page 10 you will find a map with CO2 pipelines as of 2008.