A Department of Energy sponsored project in Hopkins County, Kentucky has begun injecting carbon dioxide into a mature oil field to assess the region's CO2 storage capacity and feasibility for enhanced oil recovery.
The project is part of DOE's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) program and is being conducted by The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC). The project is part of the RCSP's "validation phase," where field tests are being conducted nationwide to assess the most promising sites to deploy carbon capture and storage technologies.
The Kentucky test is designed to inject up to 8,000 tons of CO2 over a period of 6-8 months into an existing brine-water injection well at depths of about 1,900 feet. At this depth, the CO2 will remain in a gaseous state and will only partially mix with the oil it encounters.
This type of enhanced oil recovery, termed an "immiscible" CO2 flood, can recover an additional 5–10 percent of a reservoir's original oil-in-place. Following injection, the oil, gas, and water produced will be measured to evaluate the field’s enhanced oil recovery characteristics.
To monitor the fate of the CO2, the MGSC, with technical support from the Kentucky Geologic Survey, will implement a monitoring program at the site. The program will consist of tracking the rate and volume of injected CO2, and the pressures and temperatures within the well. These measurements will provide an indication of how efficiently the CO2 displaces oil within the reservoir and how efficiently the reservoir stores the CO2.
Ambient air quality around the wells will also be continuously monitored to ensure worker safety, as will groundwater quality to ensure that injected CO2 is not leaking from the oil reservoir.
Projects by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Hydrogen Energy International LLC have been selected for up to $408 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The selection of the two projects is part of the third round of the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI).
* Basin Electric Power Cooperative ($100 million)
Post Combustion CO2 Capture Project - Basin Electric Power Cooperative will partner with Powerspan and Burns & McDonnell to demonstrate the removal of CO2 from the flue gas of a lignite-based boiler by adding CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) to Basin Electric's existing Antelope Valley Station, located near Beulah, N.D. Powerspan's ECO2® ammonia-based technology will be used to capture CO2 on a 120-megawatt electric-equivalent gas stream from the 450 megawatt Antelope Valley Station Unit 1. The net result will be 90 percent removal of CO2 from the treated flue gas, yielding 3,000 short tons per day (1,000,000 tons per year) of pipeline-quality CO2. The ammonia based SO2 scrubbing system will also produce a liquid stream of ammonium sulfate that will be processed into a fertilizer by-product.
* Hydrogen Energy International LLC ($308 million)
Kern County, California
Hydrogen Energy California Project: Commercial Demonstration of Advanced IGCC with Full Carbon Capture - Hydrogen Energy International LLC, a joint venture owned by BP Alternative Energy and Rio Tinto, will design, construct, and operate an integrated gasification combined cycle power plant that will take blends of coal and petroleum coke, combined with non-potable water, and convert them into hydrogen and CO2. The CO2 will be separated from the hydrogen using the methanol-based Rectisol process. The hydrogen gas will be used to fuel a power station, and the CO2 will be transported by pipeline to nearby oil reservoirs where it will be injected for storage and used for enhanced oil recovery. The project, which will be located in Kern County, California, will capture more than 2,000,000 tons per year of CO2.
Australia’s most comprehensive post-combustion CO2 capture research facility has opened at International Power’s Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
The project is using the 30 metre high solvent capture plant installed by International Power as part of the Hazelwood Carbon Capture Project to test and evaluate new and improved solvents, compare equipment performance, investigate impurities removal and optimise solvent capture processes.
The project will use purpose-built research modules to evaluate two new technologies for CO2 capture; membranes and adsorbents.
New types of membranes can be used to sieve out CO2 molecules from gas streams and can be integrated with solvent systems.
Adsorbents are solids that can capture CO2 on their surface, release it by reducing the pressure and be reused over and over.
The project will allow CO2CRC to use the existing research base of its capture activities in Victoria. The University of Melbourne is developing solvent and membrane technologies while Monash University performs research and development on adsorbents.
This article was excerpted from publically available information, and was assembled by Rachel Shanteau, Acacia Environmental Group LLC. For more information on the author see here.