Project begins injection of CO2 for storage at Illinois Basin

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) has begun injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) for the first million-tonne demonstration of carbon sequestration in the U.S. The CO2 will be stored permanently in the Mt. Simon Sandstone more than a mile beneath the Illinois surface at Decatur. The MGSC is led by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

"Establishing long-term, environmentally safe and secure underground CO2 storage is a critical component in achieving successful of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology," said Chuck McConnell, Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of (FE). "This injection by MGSC, as well as those undertaken by other FE regional partnerships, are helping confirm the great potential and viability of permanent geologic storage as an important option in strategies."

MGSC is one of seven regional partnerships created by the DOE to advance technologies nationwide for capturing and permanently storing greenhouse gases that contribute to .

"We are enthusiastic as we reach the operational stage of our project. The analysis of data collected beginning in 2003 indicates that the lower Mt. Simon Sandstone has the necessary geological characteristics to be an excellent injection for safe and effective storage of CO2," said Robert J. Finley, PhD, director and leader of ISGS's sequestration team. The $96 million Illinois Basin – Decatur Project was funded in 2007 and now marks the beginning of the injection of 1 million metric tonnes of CO2 over the next three years.

"Reaching the injection phase of this project is a major milestone in sequestration technology world-wide and for the State of Illinois," said Prairie Research Institute Executive Director, William W. Shilts, PhD. "Four years of effort are coming to fruition at a site with unique capabilities, some of them first-in-the-world with respect to the extensive subsurface monitoring system. It's a strategic investment in Illinois' future." Visitors from Australia, China, Norway, Spain, and Japan have already visited the Illinois Basin – Decatur Project and they expect to welcome more of the international sequestration research community over the next several years, Shilts noted.

The CO2 is being captured from the fermentation process used to produce ethanol at Archer Daniels Midland Company's (ADM) corn processing complex. It is compressed into a dense-liquid to facilitate the injection process and permanent storage at a depth of 7,000 feet, according to Finley. The Mt. Simon Sandstone is the thickest and most widespread saline reservoir in the Illinois Basin, which covers two-thirds of Illinois and reaches into western Indiana and western Kentucky. The estimated CO2 storage capacity of the Mt. Simon is 11 to 151 billion metric tonnes, and it is below several layers of shale that serve as an impermeable cap rock to hold the CO2 in place, Finley added.

This demonstration project is part of the Development Phase of the Regional Partnerships program, a DOE Office of Fossil Energy initiative launched in 2003 to determine the best approaches for capturing and permanently storing that can contribute to global climate change.

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Nov 28, 2011
There's no such thing as "impermeable cap rock to hold the CO2 in place". _Everything_ leaks. Better to not make CO2 in the first place.

Nov 28, 2011
They'll try it until something like this happens:

Small earthquake, partial collapse of the structure or a break in the cap and voila: Large CO2 cloud wiping out a few towns. Much beating of breasts. Calling on 'acts of god'. And then simply starting over.

Nov 28, 2011
A colossal waste of time and money.

Illinois produces about 49% of its energy from nuclear and most of the remainder from carbon sources. So half of the energy being used to drill holes, liquify CO2 and inject the CO2 into the ground is producing more CO2.

And as antialias_physorg noted, a breach in the shale cap could cause the immediate death of many people, possibly thousands.

I doubt that the people thus endangered were consulted about this.

Nov 28, 2011
Better to not make CO2 in the first place.

It's irresponsible to remain perpetually naive and make totally impractical and meaningless statements like this. The world WILL continue to use carbon based energy until a alternative on the same scale becomes available. Welcome to reality.

Nov 28, 2011
Statoil abandons CO2 plant at Canada oil sands Alberta project.

Norwegian oil and gas major StatoilHydro has abandoned plans to build a CO2-treatment plant.
StatoilHydro believes that CO2 capture and storage is not the best technology in the next phase of development. Today's oil prices have not affected the decision, said a Statoil spokesperson.
The government in Norway postpones Mongstad project
by Cato Buch May 01, 2010 10:55 PM

The Government has deferred the investment decision at Mongstad from 2012 to 2014.

Mongstad CCS project postponed again

I predict it will never happen! the cost increase daily now of 27 billion NoK and rising!

Nov 28, 2011
Better to not make CO2 in the first place.

It's irresponsible to remain perpetually naive and make totally impractical and meaningless statements like this. The world WILL continue to use carbon based energy until a alternative on the same scale becomes available. Welcome to reality.

Respectfully, it isn't naive to recognize that our primary source of high-grade energy has a byproduct which may be destroying the biosphere. Our "economic system" does not charge the full cost of fossil fuels. Just as nuclear power producers don't have to pay clean-up costs for closed plants, fossil fuel producers do not pay for the environmental damages their products cause. Yes, we need high-grade energy. No, we don't need to burn oil, gas, etc. to get it. Pax.

Nov 28, 2011
At the case of cold fusion these reservoirs could serve as a storage of fossil carbon for production of hydrocarbons with reformation for plastic industry. Well, theoretically.

Nov 28, 2011
Better yet- find a cheap way to disassociate the C and the O2, thereby creating a supply of easily utilized, commercially valuable resources.

Nov 28, 2011
Caliban, there was some solar furnace demonstration that is capable of converting CO2 to CO which can then be used as a fuel itself or converted into more conventional fuels.


Nov 29, 2011
What a sad, sad state of affairs.

Illinois is finically bankrupt, but still spending public funds trying to solve CO2 pollution scare that Al Gore and the UN's IPCC promoted using questionable science!


1. "What is Wrong With the UN's IPCC?" by Professor Ross McKitrick

2. IPCC: Fix It or Fold It


3. "Deep roots of the global climate scandal (1971-2011)"


With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA principal
Investigator for Apollo

Nov 29, 2011
Guys, "Global Warming" is just the cover story. The purpose is to transfer tax dollars (or the currency of your choice) from the public coffers into preferred pockets.

Sadly, despite "Global Warming" being a criminal hoax, actually discussing it is STILL a matter of letting the bad actors control the topic of conversation. And I'm as guilty as anyone in wasting time in the "yes there is! / no there isn't!" argument.

I think the real topic of discussion shouldn't be the overwhelming scientific fraud perpetrated on humanity by these criminals, but rather that when you get right down to the heart of the matter, they are all just flat out thieves. And so far, really big and really successful thieves, protected and encouraged by our various governments (within which are also many thieves, so no huge surprise there).

"Project begins injection of CO2 for storage at Illinois Basin" Why? Because it is just another means for thieves to steal public funds, that's why.

Nov 29, 2011
I do agree, it's drain of money, but I don't think, it's organized purposely. The people are just filling the holes in the law. For example, the mainstream physics maintains many theories which are enabling the physicists to collect jobs and money and invest into research, despite they're not physical at all (Higgs boson or gravity waves etc.). They still believe in these theories collectively.

We can perceive the society like giant fluctuating matter with reinforcing effects. When some idea emerges, which is able to collect the money from the rest, it gets the money and another support for its improving, so it grows even faster. From the same reason, just the very opposite many ideas and findings are ignored instead. For example the cold fusion is a poor business for individual under the situation, every Chinese can flood the market with simple energy generators. The fact, such source of energy is urgently needed with the human civilization as a whole plays no role in this mechanism

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