Funding moves sequestration from lab to field

FUNDING of $US100 million will help move carbon sequestration technologies, used to capture and permanently store greenhouse gases, from the laboratory to full-blown field work.

Angie Tomlinson

US energy secretary Samuel Bodman said the Department of Energy (DoE) would provide the funding as part of the Global Climate Change Initiative. The project was designed to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 18% by 2012 in part through the development of significant sequestration technologies.

“By moving carbon sequestration technology from the laboratory to the field with today's grants, we are another step closer to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the important role coal plays in America's energy mix,” Bodman said.

The seven projects selected by the DoE are led by public-private sector consortiums of businesses, state agencies, and universities. These consortiums are part of a national network of regional carbon sequestration partnerships created by DoE in 2002 to serve as the backbone of the US’s sequestration research network.

In 2003, DoE made a first round of competitive grants to seven partnerships to determine the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure requirements for carbon sequestration in different areas of the nation.

The teams have employed computer modelling and detailed geographic and economic analysis to identify sequestration opportunities across the US that have the potential to store more than 600 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of more than 200 years of emissions from US energy sources.

Last week’s grants are the second step in the projects. The funding has been made to the same seven consortiums that received awards in 2003.

Over the next four years, these partnerships will field-test and validate carbon sequestration technologies best suited to their respective regions.

Each partnership will receive between $US2-4 million per year, covering at least 20% of project costs.

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