DOE Releases Report on Techniques to Ensure Safe, Effective Geologic Carbon Sequestration
Comprehensive Report Describes New and Emerging Methods to Monitor, Verify, and Account for CO2 Stored in Geologic Formations
Washington, DC —The Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has created a comprehensive new document that examines existing and emerging techniques to monitor, verify, and account for carbon dioxide (CO2) stored in geologic formations. The report, titled Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting of CO2 Stored in Deep Geologic Formations, should prove to be an invaluable tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere through geologic sequestration.
The report was prepared by NETL with input from the seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships. Its main goals are to—
- Provide an overview of monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) techniques that are currently in use or are being developed.
- Summarize the Energy Department’s MVA research and development program.
- Present information that can be used by regulatory organizations, project developers, and national and state policymakers to ensure the safety and efficacy of carbon storage projects.
Emissions of CO2 have increased from an insignificant level two centuries ago to more than 30 billion tons worldwide today. As a result, atmospheric levels of CO2 have risen from preindustrial levels of 280 parts per million (ppm) to more than 380 ppm today. If no effort is made to reduce CO2 emissions, yearly release from the United States could increase by one third from 2005 to 2030.
Carbon capture and storage will help reduce this growth by capturing CO2 before it is emitted into the atmosphere. Geologic sequestration—the storage of CO2 in deep geologic formations such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal seams, and saline formations—has emerged as an important and viable option in a wide-ranging portfolio of technologies.
Reliable and cost-effective MVA techniques are critical to making geologic storage a safe, effective, and acceptable method for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, MVA provides data that can be used to—
- Verify national inventories of greenhouse gases.
- Assess reductions of greenhouse gas emissions at geologic sequestration sites.
- Evaluate potential regional, national, and international greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The Office of Fossil Energy supports a number of carbon capture and storage initiatives including a vigorous MVA research and development program.