Washington, DC - Today, the U.S. Energy Department marked two important milestones in the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) project in Decatur, Illinois, a major clean coal project and the Department’s first large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage demonstration project. The Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) marked the progress made on construction on the project’s storage facility, as well as the public opening of the National Sequestration Education Center. The Center was funded in partnership with the Richland Community College and will contain classrooms, training, and laboratory facilities, offering students associate degrees in sequestration technology. Once fully operational in 2013, the Illinois project will be able to store 1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year and will help demonstrate the feasibility and reduce the cost of clean coal and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. 

"This project is an important part of the Obama Administration’s investments in clean coal technology and an all-of-the-above energy strategy that will help ensure we develop every source of American energy," said Charles McConnell, the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. "Continued research into Carbon, Capture, Utilization and Storage technologies will help continue reducing the costs of clean coal projects and make sure that the U.S. maintains the lead in this important clean energy industry."

Led by the ADM, a member of DOE’s Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, the Illinois ICCS project is designed to sequester approximately 2,500 metric tons of CO2 per day in the saline Mount Simon Sandstone formation at depths of approximately 7,000 feet. Researchers estimate that the sandstone formation can potentially store billions of tons of CO2 and has the overall potential to sequester all of the more than 250 million tons of CO2 produced each year by industry in the Illinois Basin region. 

In October 2009, DOE selected the ADM team--which now includes Schlumberger Carbon Services, the Illinois State Geological Survey, and Richland Community College--to conduct one of 12 projects in Phase 1 of its ICCS program, aimed at testing large-scale industrial CCUS technologies. DOE then selected the project in June 2010 as one of three projects to receive continued (Phase 2) funding. The Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory manages the Illinois ICCS project, which received $141 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and leveraged another $66.5 million in private sector investments. The federal investment is enabling ADM and its partners to gather crucial scientific and engineering data to help continue to reduce technology costs and demonstrate the feasibility of industrial CCUS.

The Illinois-ICCS project includes the design, construction, and demonstration of a CO2 compression and dehydration facility that will enable the high pressure stream of CO2 available to the pipeline and injection well. The operations phase of the project--capture and storage of the CO2--is expected to begin in late summer 2013. The operations phase will create approximately 260 jobs and add to an understanding of long-term CO2 storage in saline formations. 

The project is expected to move this promising clean coal technology closer to commercial deployment. The successful development of advanced CCUS technologies is critical to reducing the cost of capturing greenhouse gases from coal plants and industrial facilities and ensuring an environmentally and economically competitive future for America’s abundant coal resources.