In 2009, the industrial sector accounted for slightly more than one-quarter of total U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 5,405 million metric tons from energy consumption, according to data from DOE's Energy Information Administration.
In a major step forward in the fight to reduce CO2 emissions from industrial plants, DOE has allocated American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds to more than 25 projects that capture and sequester CO2 emissions from industrial sources - such as cement plants, chemical plants, refineries, paper mills, and manufacturing facilities - into underground formations.
Three projects are aimed at testing large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage. The three projects are expected to capture and store a total of 6.5 million tons of CO2 per year, and increase domestic production of oil by more than 10 million barrels of oil per year by the end of the demonstration period in September 2015.
The projects - located in Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana - were initially selected for funding in October 2009 as part of a $1.4 billion effort to capture CO2 from industrial sources for storage or beneficial use. The first phase of research and development (R&D) included $21.6 million in Recovery Act funding and $22.5 million in private funding for a total initial investment of $44.1 million.
Following successful completion of their Phase 1 activities, the three projects have now entered into Phase 2 for design, construction, and operation. The second phase of these projects includes $612 million in Recovery Act funding and $368 million in private sector cost-sharing for a total investment of $980 million. Descriptions of the projects follow:
- Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (Allentown, Pa.) — Air Products is partnering with Denbury Onshore LLC to capture and sequester 1 million tons of CO2 per year from existing steam-methane reformers in Port Arthur, Texas, starting in November 2012. Air Products will transport the captured gas to oil fields in eastern Texas by pipeline where it will be used for enhanced oil recovery. The project team includes Air Products & Chemicals, Denbury Onshore LLC, the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, and Valero Energy Corporation. A dedication ceremony for full-scale operations was held in May 2013.
- Archer Daniels Midland Company (Decatur, Ill.) — The project will capture and sequester 1 million tons of CO2 per year from an existing ethanol plant in Illinois. The CO2 will be sequestered in the Mt. Simon Sandstone, a well-characterized saline reservoir located about one mile from the plant. The project team includes Archer Daniels Midland, Schlumberger Carbon Services, and the Illinois State Geological Survey. This project is currently under construction.
- Leucadia Energy, LLC (New York, N.Y.) — Leucadia and Denbury Onshore LLC will capture and sequester 4.5 million tons of CO2 per year from a new methanol plant in Lake Charles, La. The CO2 will be delivered via a 12-mile connector pipeline to an existing Denbury interstate CO2 pipeline and sequestered via use for enhanced oil recovery in the West Hastings oilfield. The project team includes Leucadia Energy, Denbury, General Electric, and The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. This project was discontinued in September 2014 due to high cost estimates for the new methanol plant that would have served to host the proposed CCS project. Read the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (issued April 2013)
Innovative Concepts for Beneficial CO2 Use
In addition, seven projects aim to find ways of converting captured carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial sources into useful products such as fuel, plastics, cement, and fertilizers. These projects are funded with $106 million from the Recovery Act — matched with $156 million in private cost-share. The Phase 2 selections demonstrate the potential opportunity to use CO2 as an inexpensive raw material that can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions while producing useful by-products that Americans can use. Converting captured CO2 into products such as chemicals, carbonates, plastics, fuels, building materials, and other commodities is an important aspect of carbon capture and storage technology. Converting CO2 into other useful forms can help reduce carbon emissions in areas where long-term storage of CO2 is not practical. It is anticipated that large volumes of CO2 will be available as fossil fuel–based power plants and other CO2-emitting industries are equipped with CO2 emissions control technologies to comply with regulatory requirements. These include:
- Ramgen Power Systems (Bellevue, Wash.) — Funding will allow the industrial-sized scale-up and testing of an existing advanced CO2 compression project with the objective of reducing time to commercialization, technology risk, and cost. (DOE Share: $20 million)
- Novomer Inc. (Ithaca, N.Y.) — Teaming with Albemarle Corporation and the Eastman Kodak Co., Novomer will develop a process for converting waste CO2 into a number of polycarbonate products (plastics) for use in the packaging industry. Novomer's novel catalyst technology enables CO2 to react with petrochemical epoxides to create a family of thermoplastic polymers that are up to 50 percent by weight CO2. The project has the potential to convert CO2 from an industrial waste stream into a lasting material that can be used in the manufacture of bottles, films, laminates, coatings on food and beverage cans, and in other wood and metal surface applications. Novomer has secured site commitments in Rochester, NY, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Orangeburg, SC where Phase 2 work will be performed. (DOE Share: $18,417,989)
- Touchstone Research Laboratory Ltd. (Triadelphia, W. Va.) — This project will pilot-test an open-pond algae production technology that can capture at least 60 percent of flue gas CO2 from an industrial coal-fired source to produce biofuel and other high value co-products. A novel phase change material incorporated in Touchstone's technology will cover the algae pond surface to regulate daily temperature, reduce evaporation, and control the infiltration of invasive species. Lipids extracted from harvested algae will be converted to a bio-fuel, and an anaerobic digestion process will be developed and tested for converting residual biomass into methane. The host site for the pilot project is Cedar Lane Farms in Wooster, Ohio. (DOE Share: $6,239,542)
- Phycal, LLC (Highland Heights, Ohio) — Phycal will complete development of an integrated system designed to produce liquid biocrude fuel from microalgae cultivated with captured CO2. The algal biocrude can be blended with other fuels for power generation or processed into a variety of renewable drop-in replacement fuels such as jet fuel and biodiesel. Phycal will design, build, and operate a CO2-to-algae-to-biofuels facility at a nominal thirty acre site in Central Oahu (near Wahiawa and Kapolei), Hawaii. Hawaii Electric Company will qualify the biocrude for boiler use, and Tesoro will supply CO2 and evaluate fuel products. (DOE Share: $24,243,509)
- Skyonic Corporation (Austin, Texas) —Skyonic Corporation will continue the development of SkyMine® mineralization technology — a potential replacement for existing scrubber technology. The SkyMine process transforms CO2 into solid carbonate and/or bicarbonate materials while also removing sulfur oxides, nitrogen dioxide, mercury and other heavy metals from flue gas streams of industrial processes. Solid carbonates are ideal for long-term, safe aboveground storage without pipelines, subterranean injection, or concern about CO2 re-release to the atmosphere. The project team plans to process CO2-laden flue gas from a Capital Aggregates, Ltd. cement manufacturing plant in San Antonio, Texas. (DOE Share: $25,000,000)
- Calera Corporation (Los Gatos, Calif.) — Calera Corporation is developing a process that directly mineralizes CO2 in flue gas to carbonates that can be converted into useful construction materials. An existing CO2 absorption facility for the project is operational at Moss Landing, Calif., for capture and mineralization. The project team will complete the detailed design, construction, and operation of a building material production system that at smaller scales has produced carbonate-containing aggregates suitable as construction fill or partial feedstock for use at cement production facilities. The building material production system will ultimately be integrated with the absorption facility to demonstrate viable process operation at a significant scale. (DOE Share: $19,895,553)
On September 7, 2010, DOE selected an additional 22 projects that will accelerate carbon capture and storage research and development for industrial sources. Funded with more than $575 million from the Recovery Act, these R&D projects complement the industrial demonstration projects already being funded through the Recovery Act.