Carbon Storage Research and Development

Core Research and Development (Core R&D) involves both applied laboratory- and pilot-scale research focused on developing new technologies and systems for geologic storage. The effort is driven by the technology needs determined by industry and other stakeholders, including regulators. Core R&D encompasses three Technology Areas:

Geologic Storage, Simulation, and Risk Assessment
Monitoring, Verification, Accounting, and Assessment
Carbon Use and Reuse
Researcher at NETL utilizes a CT scanner to measure in situ fluid displacement and sorption of fluids within mineral cores.

In addition, the Core R&D Element includes University Geologic Sequestration Training Projects funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). These projects focus on providing education and training activities to aid in the development of a future generation of geologists, scientists, and engineers that will provide the human capital and skills required for the implementation and deployment of large-scale CCS.

The Core R&D Element is implemented through: (1) cost-shared cooperative agreements and grants with industry and academic institutions; (2) field work research at other national laboratories; and (3) research at NETL's Office of Research and Development (ORD). These efforts provide the scientific basis for carbon storage options.


Researchers conducting soil gas monitoring as part of a CO2 storage project.

Overall, the focus of the Core R&D effort is on developing new CCS technologies to the point of pre-commercial demonstration. Within each Technology Area, specific challenges or uncertainties have been identified and research pathways have been constructed to address these challenges. The level of technology R&D conducted in the Core R&D efforts ranges from laboratory- to pilot-scale activities. Technologies are normally developed in the Core R&D projects to the point where individual companies, utilities, and other business entities are able to design, manufacture, and build the equipment and instrumentation needed to implement or commercialize the processes.

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