Mines receives $510,000 DOE grant for carbon sequestration research

GOLDEN, Colo., Aug. 12, 2010 – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the selection of 15 projects, including one at Colorado School of Mines, to develop technologies aimed at safely and economically storing carbon dioxide in geologic formations. 
The title of Mines' project is “Validation of Models Simulating Capillary and Dissolution Trapping During Injection and Post-Injection of CO2 in Heterogeneous Geological Formations Using Data From Intermediate Scale Test Systems” and the project investigator is Tissa Illangasekare, a professor in Mines' Environmental Science and Engineering Department.
The project will improve the understanding of CO2-trapping mechanisms affected by formation heterogeneity and will focus on capillary and dissolution trapping. Results will lead to a more realistic predication of storage capacity and leakage risk. (DOE share: $510,752; Recipient share: $139,525; Duration: 36 months)
Funded with $21.3 million over three years, the selections will complement existing DOE initiatives to help develop the technology and infrastructure to implement large-scale CO2 storage in different geologic formations across the nation. The projects selected will support the goals of helping reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, developing and deploying near-zero-emission coal technologies and making the U.S. a leader in mitigating climate change.
Efforts are underway to demonstrate safety and permanence of geologic sequestration through initiatives such as the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships. The 15 selected projects will complement ongoing efforts by developing and testing technologies that address critical challenges for geologic storage including injectivity of CO2 into the reservoir, storage capacity, plume migration, and containment by caprock and other trapping mechanisms.
Geologic storage is currently focused on five types of formations: (1) depleted oil and gas reservoirs, (2) deep saline formations, (3) unmineable coal seams, (4) oil- and gas-rich organic shales, and (5) basalts. Carbon storage in depleted oil and gas reservoirs can also increase oil or gas production, while storage of CO2 in deep saline formations holds the promise of enormous worldwide capacity, with estimates of thousands of gigatonnes of storage.
For information on the other recipients, see the full release on the DoE web site.
Karen Gilbert, Public Relations Specialist / 303-273-3541 / Karen.Gilbert@is.mines.edu
Marsha Williams, Director of Integrated Marketing Communications / 303-273-3326 / marswill@mines.edu



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