ARRA Research

Geologic Sequestration Training and Research (GSTR) -


Recovery Act: Development and Implementation of the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium Sequestration Technology Transfer Center


Performer: University of Illinois

Project No: FE0002462


Program Background and Project Benefits

Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies offer great potential for mitigating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions emitted into the atmosphere without adversely influencing energy use or hindering economic growth. Deploying these technologies in commercial-scale applications will require a drastically expanded workforce trained in CCUS related disciplines, including geologists, engineers, scientists, and technicians. Training to enhance the existing CCUS workforce and to develop new professionals can be accomplished through focused educational initiatives in the CCUS technology area. Key educational topics include simulation and risk assessment; monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA); geology-related analytical tools; site characterization, methods to interpret geophysical models; methods for designing and completing CO2 injection and monitoring wells; and methods for conducting public outreach activities in areas where CCUS projects may occur.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) selected seven projects to receive more than $8.4 million in funding to develop regional carbon storage technology training centers in the United States. The majority of this funding is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The seven projects are facilitating the transfer of knowledge and skills required for development, operation, and monitoring of commercial CCUS projects. Training activities are focusing on the applied engineering and science of CCUS for site developers, geologists, scientists, engineers, regulators and technicians to provide a technology transfer platform for geologic CO2 storage activities. The awarded projects will produce a workforce with both technical and non-technical skills and competencies needed to successfully implement and deploy CCUS technologies.

The overall project benefit will be a trained workforce that can accelerate implementation and deployment of carbon storage by increasing the quantity and decreasing the cost of CCUS. STEP will allow for sharing new climate mitigation technology as it is developed, dramatically reducing the time it takes for innovations in research to produce positive global change. Further benefits will result from partnerships between STEP, independent research entities, utilities, CO2 producers, and technology providers to develop carbon capture and storage technology training and job development opportunities.

Goals/Objectives

The primary objective of the DOE's Carbon Storage Program is to develop technologies to safely and permanently store CO2 and reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions without adversely affecting energy use or hindering economic growth. The Programmatic goals of Carbon Storage research are: (1) estimating CO2 storage capacity in geologic formations; (2) demonstrating that 99 percent of injected CO2 remains in the injection zone(s); (3) improving efficiency of storage operations; and (4) developing Best Practices Manuals (BPMs).

The goal of this project is for MGSC and ISGS to create a self-sustainable STEP program for disseminating CCUS technology, knowledge, and best practices information. Its objective is to provide CCUS education and career opportunities for engineers, geologists, service providers, regulators, executives, and other personnel (Figures 1, 2, and 3) to expand the CCUS workforce in the Illinois Basin region.


Project Details