A recent report issued by the Science of the Total Environment described the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a global leader in carbon capture and storage research. With 49 publications, DOE ranked first in both the number of publications and h-index performance, which measures the productivity and citation impact of a scientist.
DOE’s Carbon Storage research and development (R&D) program has significantly advanced the global carbon capture, storage, and utilization (CCUS) knowledge base with a diverse portfolio of applied research projects. The Office of Fossil Energy has adopted a comprehensive program to advance the R&D of advanced carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies for coal plants. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is implementing the program for the next generation of advanced CO2 capture concepts.
DOE-NETL’s R&D has achieved significant reductions in the energy penalty associated with carbon capture by developing and maturing second generation capture technologies. These reductions in the energy penalty translate into overall reductions in the cost of CO2 capture.
A few of the notable advances include:
Three of DOE’s large-scale demonstration projects—Petra Nova, Archer Daniels Midland Biofuel, and Air Products Industrial Capture—have successfully captured and injected over 9 million metric tons of CO2.
The National Carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville, AL has operated for over 100,000 test hours and has tested over 50 carbon capture technologies; it is helping advance 2nd generation and transformational technologies to reduce the cost of carbon capture.
Through the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCPs), DOE has characterized the carbon storage resource potential throughout the United States, verifying the major resources that are available to store CO2. Additionally, through the RCSPs, six large-scale injections have cumulatively injected over 10 million tons of CO2.
DOE has prepared a series of Best Practice Manuals on carbon storage to capture these learnings and disseminate them to the public.
These advances, although not exclusive, are achieved through a diverse portfolio of industry cost-shared technology development projects, university research grants, collaborative work with other national laboratories, and research conducted in-house through NETL’s Research and Innovation Center.