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Carbon Storage (sequestration)

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The concept of carbon storage is growing worldwide and there are many demonstrations, activities, and lessons available on the web for understanding aspects of sequestration. Useful information may include aspects of the carbon cycle, climate change (global warming), and explanations or demonstrations of groundwater aquifers, permeability, and porosity. The latter are easily adapted to understanding geologic storage (the injection of carbon dioxide into underground rock layers), because in many cases CO2 will be injected in the deep subsurface aquifers (well below drinking water aquifers) as a supercritical fluid, rather than a gas.

Audience-pleasing Physical Models to Support CO2 Outreach. Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. This website has instructions for five demonstrations to illustrate aspects of carbon sequestration in schools and to non-technical audiences. Demo 1-Chemistry of Burning uses styrofoam ball models of hydrocarbons to show why CO2 is emitted from combustion; Demo 2-Seeing the Carbon in CO2 uses charcoal briquettes to visualize carbon emitted per mile of driving a car (there’s an online video of this demo); Demo 3-What is the Greenhouse Effect builds a model with pipe cleaners and mesh; Demo 4-CO2 is a Gas uses a bottle and a balloon to capture CO2 gas from melting dry ice; Demo 5-Reservoir in a Jar uses a clear jar, marbles, and liquids to demonstrate porosity and permeability in a reservoir.

Carbon Sequestration. National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), U.S. Department of Energy. NETL’s Carbon Sequestration Program is helping to develop technologies to capture, purify, and store carbon dioxide (CO2) in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without adversely influencing energy use or hindering economic growth. The website has reports on various aspects of carbon capture and storage, FAQs, the carbon sequestration reference shelf publications, an online video introduction to sequestration, updates on regional sequestration partnerships (see below), and more.

Personal Emissions Calculator. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Use this online calculator to obtain an estimate of your personal greenhouse gas emissions or your family’s greenhouse gas emissions. Another section explores actions you and/or your family can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. For each action you choose to take, the calculator displays the amount of emissions you could avoid and how that amount relates to your total emissions.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions Calculator.  Carbonify.org. Another online carbon dioxide emissions calculator you can use to estimate how many tons of carbon dioxide some of your activities generate. This calculator offers some average values if you don’t have the input information and also shows how many trees it would take to offset your emissions.

Carbon Sequestration Technology Roadmap. National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), U.S. Department of Energy. The roadmap outlines the United State’s carbon sequestration goals and methods for achieving those goals.

NATCARB. National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), U.S. Department of Energy. NATCARB is an online atlas created from the results of regional sequestration partnerships (see below) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory. The website provides interactive maps and background information on the process of storing CO2, emission sources, power plants, oil and gas fields, and deep saline formations that might be suitable for CO2 storage. The site also provides sequestration calculators that can be used to estimate carbon storage potential at various pressures, temperatures, and salinities.

Regional Partnerships (what’s happening in your region)

Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership. Montana State University. This partnership covers the region of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Washington, and Oregon. The site’s Carbon Atlas provides a map gallery, and online interactive maps with information related to carbon emissions and storage in the region. There are also overview’s of terrestrial and geologic sequestration, FAQs, and project reports.

Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC). This partnership covers the Michigan basin and northern Appalachian region of eastern Indiana, including eastern Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. New York was also added midway through Phase 2 of the research program. The website provides background information about climate change and carbon storage; reports of research on carbon storage potential in the region from phases of the project (divided into terrestrial and geologic sequestration); fact sheets on carbon storage and specific field demonstrations in the region; and an interactive map atlas (with a tutorial on how to use it) that provides information on regional geology, oil and gas fields, deep saline aquifers, and CO2 sources in the region.

Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP). Batelle. This partnership covers the Michigan basin and northern Appalachian region of eastern Indiana, eastern Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland. Recently, New York was also added. The website provides information about carbon storage and reports of research on carbon storage potential in the region. Fact sheets are available for specific pilot projects (test injections of CO2) in the region. An interactive map atlas provides information on regional geology and sequestration potential.

Plains CO2 Reduction Parnership (PCO2RP). This partnership covers the northern mid-continent region of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, northeastern Wyoming, eastern Montana, as well as the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and part of British Columbia. The website provides information about carbon storage and reports of research on carbon storage potential in the region. There are good reviews of terrestrial and geologic sequestration. Fact sheets are available for specific pilot projects in the region.

Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB). Southern States Energy. This partnership covers the southwestern region of the U.S., including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and southeastern Kentucky. The website provides an overview of the partnership and planned demonstration projects in the region.

Southwest Partnership for Carbon Sequestration (SWP). University of Utah. This partnership covers the southwestern region of the U.S., including Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, and portions of Kansas, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, and the Navajo Nation. The website provides information about carbon storage and reports of research on carbon storage potential in the region. There are good reviews of terrestrial and geologic sequestration. There is also an easy-to-understand online video about climate change and the need for solutions such as carbon sequestration.

West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WestCarb). This partnership covers the western U.S. and Canada, including Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia in Canada. The website provides information about carbon storage and reports of research on carbon storage potential in the region. There is an interactive Carbon Atlas that allows user to see locations of major “point sources” of CO2 emissions; areas with geologic formations capable of storing CO2; locations of potential CO2 storage sites; boundaries of publicly owned lands relevant to geologic and terrestrial sequestration; and vital existing features, such as transportation arteries (e.g., interstate highways and railroads), rivers and streams, and jurisdictional boundaries (e.g., state, county, and municipal limits).

 

See also Key Global Climate Change links

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