DOE and ADM Illinois project advances

2013-09-01 07:53 by Anja Reitz

The large-scale industrial CCUS project, also referred to as the Illinois ICCS project, is being demonstrated at the ADM’s agricultural processing and biofuels complex in Decatur, Illinois.  It is cost shared with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is being demonstrated under the DOE’s Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) program.  
The Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) manages the project, which receives $141.4 million in Recovery Act funding and another $66.5 million in private sector cost-sharing.  The project team members are ADM, DOE, Schlumberger Carbon Services, University of Illinois-Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), and Richland Community College (RCC).  
The project will demonstrate an integrated system for capturing CO2 from ADM’s ethanol plant and geologically storing it  in the Mount Simon Sandstone, a saline reservoir that covers portions of the Midwest including central and southern Illinois.  The CO2 is produced as a co-product during the processing of corn to fuel-grade ethanol.  
The project scope includes the design, construction, and integrated operation of CO2 capture, compression, dehydration, and injection facilities.  Additionally the project will develop and implement a monitoring, verification, and accounting program for the stored CO2. 
 The technology demonstrated and the lessons learned from this project will aid the development of the regional CCUS industry related to CO2 capture and transport infrastructure for enhanced oil recovery in the depleted oilfields in the Illinois Basin.
CO2 Injection
This project will store CO2 in the Mt. Simon Sandstone, an extensive saline reservoir in the Illinois Basin with the capacity to store billions of tons of CO2.  Saline reservoirs are layers of porous rock that are saturated with brine (a concentrated salt solution).  Mt. Simon Sandstone is a clean sedimentary rock dominated by silicate minerals and lacking significant amounts of clay minerals (which typically clog pores and reduce porosity), resulting in highly favorable porosity and permeability features for CO2 storage. 
The Illinois ICCS project will initially inject CO2 into the Mt. Simon Sandstone at a rate of 1500 tonnes per day. The IBDP will also inject CO2 at a rate of 1000 tonnes per day during this period. The Illinois ICCS project’s injection rate can be increased up to 3000 tonnes per day once the IBDP completes injection operations in the fall of 2014.  Each project will have a separate injection well and the distance between the two wells will be approximately 1128 m.
At the injection location, the top of the Mt. Simon Sandstone is at a depth of 1677 m below the surface and has a thickness of 457 m.  The CO2 will be injected into the lower Mt. Simon at a depth of about 2134 m.  Carbon dioxide injection will occur at depths far below the Underground Source of Drinking Water level thus ensuring the safety of these water sources. 
The Mt. Simon Sandstone is overlain by the 152 m thick Eau Claire formation, of which the bottom 61 m is primarily shale.  The low-porosity Eau Claire Shale acts as the primary cap rock seal preventing upward migration of CO2 from the Mt. Simon Sandstone. Two other shale formations, the Maquoketa Shale and the New Albany Shale, are present at shallower depths and act as secondary and tertiary seals, respectively. The base of the Mt. Simon Sandstone is underlain by Precambrian igneous bedrock (granite basement). 
Monitoring the Stored CO2  
The Illinois ICCS project will implement a robust plan to monitor CO2 migration and to protect groundwater sources. The monitoring efforts will employ methods to provide an accurate accounting of the stored CO2 and a high level of confidence that it will remain permanently stored deep underground.  The monitoring plan includes near surface and deep subsurface activities.  
The near-surface monitoring includes soil CO2 flux measurements to monitor changes in CO2 concentrations and shallow groundwater sampling for geochemical analysis.  The deep-subsurface monitoring includes geophysical (seismic) surveys and passive seismic surveys in the above cap rock seal locations and geophysical surveys, geochemical sampling, and pressure and temperature monitoring in the injection zone. 
A baseline 3D surface seismic data acquisition and analysis, performed by ISGS and Schlumberger Carbon Services, did not indicate any seismically resolvable faults in the reservoir or in the cap rock seal at the proposed Illinois ICCS injection site.  A lack of geologic faults offers greater certainty that the injected CO2 will be stratigraphically trapped in the Mt. Simon Sandstone.

Source: Carbon Capture Journal by Sai Gollakota (National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy) and Scott McDonald (Archer Daniels Midland Company)

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