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Overview of Carbon Storage Research

The Carbon Storage Program is focused on ensuring the safe and permanent storage and/or utilization of CO2 captured from point sources.

The Carbon Storage Program is focused on ensuring the safe and permanent storage and/or utilization of CO2 captured from point sources.

Roughly one third of the United States’ carbon emissions come from power plants and other large point sources, such as industrial facilities. The Carbon Storage Program is focused on ensuring the safe and permanent storage and/or utilization of CO2 captured from point sources. This effort is organized into two broad areas:

Cooperative Advancement, which involves working with other organizations and governments to advance CCS worldwide, and Carbon Storage and Utilization Research, which involves conducting R&D to move technologies to commercial viability.

Cooperative Advancement activities are focused on participating in three organizational groups which promote CCS on a regional, national, and international level:

  • Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs) – DOE has created a nationwide network of federal, state and private sector partnerships to determine the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure for future carbon capture, storage and sequestration in different areas of the country.
  • Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage – DOE co-chairs this task force, created by President Obama, to develop a comprehensive and coordinated federal strategy to speed the development and deployment of clean coal technologies. 
  • Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) – DOE represents the United States in the CSLF. The CSLF is an international ministerial-level panel that meets regularly to advance scientific research, development, and demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies on a global scale.

Carbon Storage and Utilization Research is organized into four key focus areas:

  • Storage – study of the permanent underground sequestration of CO2 in geologic formations, including saline formations, oil and gas reservoirs, and unmineable coal seams.
  • Monitoring, Verification and Accounting (MVA) – development and deployment of technologies that can properly track stored CO2 to ensure it is properly accounted for and will remain permanently sequestered.
  • Simulation and Risk Assessment – identifying and quantifying potential risks to humans and the environment associated with sequestration.
  • CO2 Use/Reuse – investigating novel technologies that use CO2 as a feedstock, such as conversion to useable products or fuels.