The quest for clean, renewable energy is one of the most important scientific challenges of our time. From vast wind farms to technology that harnesses the power of waves, there are many promising alternatives currently being researched. Until their capabilities are fully developed, however, much of the world will continue to rely on traditional fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, resulting in higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide linked with global climate change. Capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) prior to emission into the atmosphere is considered one of the most viable large-scale mitigation approaches.
PRI formed the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) to research and demonstrate the viability of carbon storage in the Illinois Basin region. With more than $100 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the MGSC successfully stored 1 million metric tonnes of CO2 at a depth of 7,000 feet beneath the surface in Decatur, Illinois. This is equivalent to at least one year’s worth of CO2 emissions from ADM’s ethanol production facility.
The Illinois Basin–Decatur Project (IBDP) has demonstrated that CO2 can be safely and effectively stored in deep rock formations. This research is being shared around the world and is working to create more knowledge and enabling commercial-scale projects to move forward at a greater pace. Currently, 5 to 10 large-scale projects are underway globally. The team has collaborated with hundreds of scientists in Australia, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, and the U.S. The scientific research from IBDP is being used by researchers around the world to develop new and/or derivative projects that will continue to advance carbon capture and storage. Here in central Illinois, the IBDP created 15 scientific jobs and supported many service and technical jobs throughout the region.
Contact: Sallie Greenberg