CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Storage - Geologic Storage Technologies and Simulation and Risk Assessment

Consolidated Sequestration Research Project

Performer: LBNL - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Project No: FWP-ESD09-056

Program Background and Project Benefits

The overall goal of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Storage Program is to develop and advance technologies that will significantly improve the effectiveness of geologic carbon storage, reduce the cost of implementation, and prepare for widespread commercial deployment between 2025 and 2035. Research conducted to develop these technologies will ensure safe and permanent storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without adversely affecting energy use or hindering economic growth.

Geologic carbon storage involves the injection of CO2 into underground formations that have the ability to securely contain the CO2 permanently. Technologies being developed for geologic carbon storage are focused on five storage types: oil and gas reservoirs, saline formations, unmineable coal seams, basalts, and organic-rich shales. Technologies being developed will work towards meeting carbon storage programmatic goals of (1) estimating CO2 storage capacity +/- 30 percent in geologic formations; (2) ensuring 99 percent storage permanence; (3) improving efficiency of storage operations; and (4) developing best practices manuals. These technologies will lead to future CO2 management for coal-based electric power generating facilities and other industrial CO2 emitters by enabling the storage and utilization of CO2 in all storage types.

The DOE Carbon Storage Program encompasses five Technology Areas: (1) Geologic Storage and Simulation and Risk Assessment (GSRA), (2) Monitoring, Verification, Accounting (MVA) and Assessment, (3) CO2 Use and Re-Use, (4) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP), and (5) Focus Area for Sequestration Science. The first three technology areas comprise the core research and development (R&D) that includes studies ranging from applied laboratory to pilot-scale research focused on developing new technologies and systems for GHG mitigation through carbon storage.

This project is part of the Core R&D GSRA Technology Area and works to develop technologies and simulation tools to ensure secure geologic storage of CO2. NETL funds LBNL for the Consolidated Sequestration Research Project (CSRP) as a combination of several carbon storage research efforts along with a risk assessment project. This research is attractive to industry because the CSRP program is addressing key uncertainties and technology needs for successful commercial scale deployment. The CSRP combines fundamental geologic storage research and pilot-scale programs with risk and basin-scale impact assessment projects. The final CSRP deliverables will vary for each task, but include DOE milestones and reports, along with dissemination of research results including field and laboratory data through peer-reviewed publications, and public presentations.


LBNL’s Consolidated Sequestration Research Project provides knowledge and lessons learned from performing distinct tasks with the common overall goals of developing the knowledge base needed to enable the commercialization of carbon storage and by identifying and removing barriers to storage through targeted research. The CSRP combines GEO-SEQ’s fundamental research and pilot-scale demonstration projects with additional projects in risk assessment, model inter-comparison, geochemistry, and basin-scale impact assessment to address issues critical for successful commercial-scale carbon storage.

The research from these tasks is contributing to a greater understanding of carbon storage processes and mechanisms, improving methods to track CO2 in the subsurface and detect migration outside of the storage formation, and improving modeling and simulation methods for carbon storage activities. These efforts contribute to the Carbon Storage Division programmatic goals of estimating CO2 storage capacity +/- 30 percent in geologic formations, helping to insure permanent storage of CO2, and improving the efficiency of storage operations. Successful storage of CO2 would reduce its contribution to global warming by permanently removing it from the atmosphere.

Project Details