US projects receive funds to demonstrate carbon capture

Three projects in the US have been selected to receive up to $612m (£414m) from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – matched by $368m in private funding – to demonstrate large-scale carbon capture and storage from industrial sources.

Two of the three projects will use the stored CO2 for enhancing the recovery of oil, while the third will store the carbon dioxide in a deep saline formation. Between the three, they are expected to capture and store 6.5m tons of CO2 per year.

In the first of the projects, Leucadia Energy and Denbury Onshore plan to capture and sequester 4.5m tons of CO2 per year from a new methanol plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The CO2 will be sequestered for enhanced oil recovery use in the West Hastings oilfield south of Houston starting in April 2014.

The project team involved includes Leucadia Energy, Denbury, General Electric, Haldor Topsoe, Black and Veatch, Turner Industries, and the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology.

In the second of the three projects, Air Products and Chemicals will partner with Denbury Onshore to capture and sequester one million tons of CO2 per year from existing steam-methane reformers in Port Arthur, Texas, starting in November 2012. The CO2 captured will also be sequestered via use for enhanced oil recovery in the West Hastings oilfield.

The team in this project includes Air Products and Chemicals, Denbury Onshore, the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and Valero Energy.

In the final project, Archer Daniels Midland Corporation will capture and sequester one million tons of CO2 per year from an existing ethanol plant in Illinois, starting in August 2012. The CO2 will be sequestered in the Mt Simon Sandstone, a saline reservoir located about one mile from the plant.

The project team involved includes Archer Daniels Midland, Schlumberger Carbon Services and the Illinois State Geological Survey.

’Capturing carbon emissions and storing them underground is a crucial technology as we build a clean energy future and address the threat of climate change,’ said US Energy Secretary Steven Chu. ’These investments will create jobs and help ensure that the US can lead the world in the clean energy economy.’