Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working on four individual tasks related to the capture and permanent sequestration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This work is focused on investigating both promising geologic storage formations and key concepts needed for successful geologic sequestration of CO2. These four tasks include:
Risk Assessment Working Group: PNNL is collaborating with a newly formed national laboratory working group to complete a detailed assessment and implementation work plan for the science base needed to support risk assessment for large-scale CO2 storage projects. Their mission is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from hydrocarbon-based fuels. The working group is developing a common framework for risk analysis that is thorough enough to be applied to a wide range of geologic settings where CCS might be deployed. The risk assessment framework will also be used to address diverse stakeholder needs and compare the risks of CCS systems to other risks commonly encountered in everyday life. The risk analysis work conducted on this project will (1) answer key outstanding questions about performance, safety, and effectiveness of geologic carbon sequestration based on previous field tests, (2) design a science-based plan to address these questions, and (3) provide tools, methods, and research results to the wide community of stakeholders through peer-reviewed publications and national and international conferences.
Global Fossil Energy Technology Strategy Program: This program is an international, multi-client, industrygovernment partnership exploring the role of fossil energy technologies in a climate-constrained world. Results and lessons-learned from this project will inform decision-makers on the U.S. Climate Change Technology Program, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Sequestration Program, and other key programs that advance a broad portfolio of options to address climate change. The program’s structured analytical process facilitates a robust, shared understanding among industrial and government stakeholders that are involved in ongoing dialogue surrounding the future of fossil energy within the U.S. energy system and the future of energy R&D.
Sequestration in Basalt Formations: PNNL is conducting research needed to address commercial-scale injection strategies, CO2 fate and transport, and improved seismic imaging methods for characterization of basalt formations to provide a path forward for commercial use of these formations for CO2 sequestration. Basalt formations have received limited attention to date with respect to their potential for permanent sequestration of anthropogenic CO2. Major basalt formations occur in various parts of the world and may be attractive storage formations for carbon dioxide sequestration. Unlike sedimentary rock formations, basalt formations have unique properties that chemically trap injected CO2, effectively and permanently. Past NETL-funded research on geologic sequestration in basalts resulted in significant benefits for both the national and international communities. Information gathered on storage capacity, injectivity, and reactivity with CO2 is the foundation for proceeding with a field pilot study in Washington State under the Regional Carbon Partnership program. As a result, interest in sequestration in basalts is now truly international with studies underway in India, Italy, Iceland, and Australia.
Co-Sequestration: PNNL is initiating an Advanced Capture and Co-Sequestration project (ACCS). The project mission is to further develop carbon capture and geologic storage technology with a near zero cost penalty goal. ACCS will employ the capabilities at NETL, PNNL, and collaborating partner institutions to implement a multidisciplinary approach for identifying key co-sequestration opportunities. Major research needs for successful co-sequestration include (1) identifying needs and pursuing R&D on promising low-cost technologies Figure for simultaneously capturing CO2 and other air pollutants from combustion and gasification-based systems, (2) metals corrosion/erosion processes that affect compression and pipeline/wellbore components in sequestration systems, (3) phase behavior of multicomponent gas mixtures in the subsurface and permanence of CO2 storage, (4) potential regulatory and permitting impacts, and (5) identifying the constraints, opportunities, and potential economic advantages for co-sequestration.
Collaboration with China on Clean Energy Research: PNNL will facilitate cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the domain of clean Energy and permanent storage of CO2 and other criteria pollutants. Collaborative research is anticipated to be pursued in following areas: (1) Transform EOR Project into Safe CO2 Sequestration Sites, (2) Modeling CCS Deployment in China, (3) Warm Syngas Cleanup Technology, (4) Warm (Hot) CO2 Capture Technology, (5) Advanced Ash and Refractory Control Technologies, (6) Advanced Catalytic Processes for Syngas Conversion to Oxygenated Fuels, and (7) Optimized Methods for Syngas Conversion to Synthetic Natural Gas with CO2 Separation.