CLIMATE:

DOE announces nearly $30M for monitoring, evaluating CO2 storage

The Energy Department today announced $27.6 million in funding for projects to monitor and evaluate geologic storage of carbon dioxide.

The 19 projects, largely conducted by universities, will focus on monitoring the movement of CO2 through geologic storage sites, verifying its placement and accounting for the amount sequestered. The funding is also geared toward projects that will conduct simulations of geologic storage of CO2 and those that will conduct risk assessments of carbon storage.

"These projects represent specific areas in monitoring CO2, both in the subsurface and at the surface, that helps to meet our goals to account for 99 percent of CO2 once it's injected," said John Litynski, sequestration division director at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The new funding announcements come as DOE prepares to finish next month a round of field validation tests through its regional carbon sequestration partnerships.

"We've actually been doing monitoring for quite a while -- ever since the program started 10 years ago," Litynski said. "But we've been doing some field activities with the regional partnerships and now we want to make an effort to start looking at verification and accounting protocols after the field work. We've selected the new projects to fill in the gaps."

The monitoring and verification funding will contribute toward research into various technologies for tracking CO2 that is stored underground. Some of the projects include the use of seismic data to understand rock physics, the use of traditional well-bore logging techniques to determine the probability of leakage and the use of a carbon isotope tracer to detect leaks.

The 19 projects are expected to last between two and four years and require $8.2 million in non-federal cost sharing.