Blacksburg, Va., July 11, 2011 In a test project, researchers plan to inject some 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into a coalbed methane field in southwest Virginia, at a site that is not suitable for underground mining purposes.
A cadre of government and private companies, led by the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research located at Virginia Tech http://www.energy.vt.edu/, will be involved in the injection and subsequent monitoring. Some $11,500,000 in funding for this four-year project is coming from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and is part of a portfolio of projects aimed at achieving a better understanding of the effect of CO2 on geologic formations.
"The proposed research will test the ability to inject CO2 into coal seams that cannot be mined, as well as the potential to enhance the coalbed methane recovery," said Michael Karmis (http://www.mining.vt.edu/facultystaff/karmis.htm), the director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research and the Stonie Barker Chaired Professor of Mining and Minerals Engineering at Virginia Tech.
The project is based on a number of previously successful studies that have identified promising methods for storing CO2 in stacked underground reservoirs, and the ability to sequester the CO2, identified as a contributor to global warming, in the coal seams.
Research is ongoing as to which coal seams are good disposal sites and the conditions under which the impounded CO2 would remain stable.
For example, previous studies have indicated geologic formations in Central Appalachia are promising for storage and carbon sequestration. Results from these studies are the basis for the proposed work by Karmis and his colleagues. "However, limited experience with injection into coal, tight sandstone, and organic-rich shales in Central Appalachia makes commercia
|Contact: Lynn Nystrom|