The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $1.3 million research grant to an interdisciplinary team of scholars headed up by the LSU Center for Energy Studies. The multi-year project will examine the technical and economic feasibility of developing a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Louisiana’s industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. CCS is a technology used by industry to capture CO2 emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in industrial processes, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
CES Professor and Executive Director, Dr. David E. Dismukes, will lead a diverse and highly qualified research team investigating this timely and important environmental and economic development opportunity for Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
The research team includes:
• Brian Snyder (co-principal investigator), assistant professor, LSU Department of Environmental Sciences;
• Keith Hall, associate professor and director, Mineral Law Institute, LSU Law School;
• Juan Lorenzo, associate professor, LSU Department of Geology & Geophysics;
• Chacko John, state geologist and director, Louisiana Geological Survey;
• Brian Harder, research associate, director, Louisiana Geological Survey;
• Mehdi Zeidouni, assistant professor, Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering;
• Richard G. Hughes, professional-in-residence, Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering.
Dismukes notes that this a unique opportunity for LSU that underscores its strengths in working with a wide range of stakeholder groups to solve applied energy and environmental challenges for our state. The project will include active private sector participation in order to identify large-scale industrial candidate emission sources, such as natural gas processing or petrochemical plants, and then transporting those industrial emissions to either permanent underground storage facilities, or using them in higher-valued energy applications such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
The goals of the project are to “define a business case model” in which industrial carbon emissions can be safely and profitably stored, Dismukes notes. There is also a large public awareness and acceptance component to the project. From a technical perspective, LSU will be conducting a number of high-level, supercomputer-based technical evaluations of the sub-basin and its geological potential to safely store large levels of carbon in a single location as well as exploring a myriad number of technical issues associated with the effective monitoring and verification of these permanent CO2 storage sites.
The award is part of the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Carbon Storage Assurance Enterprise, or CarbonSAFE, program, which seeks to develop an integrated CCS storage complex constructed and permitted for operation in the 2025 timeframe in several phases.