CCUS in the USA: Activity, prospects and academic – Alissa Park at the Cardiff Biannual

This blog was provided by Andrea de Santis whose attendance at the UKCCSRC Cardiff Biannual was supported by the Early Career Researchers Meeting Fund.

In her presentation Alissa gave an overview of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage activities and prospects in the United States. A Research Coordination Network on CCUS has been put in place at Columbia University to enhance research collaborations and training among different disciplines and countries.

North America has the highest number of large-scale CCS projects ongoing, while China is increasing in importance whereas a stall in project progress has been observed in Europe. FutureGen2.0 is one on the most important projects in the US and will be the world’s first near-zero-emissions commercial scale coal fired power plant completely integrated with geological carbon capture and storage (operation is expected to start in 2017). The total capital cost of this is around $1.65bn ($1bn from DOE (Department of Energy) and the rest from private sector).

US DOE goals for greenhouse gases management involves several aspects including capture, storage, MVA (monitoring, verification and accounting) and CO2 utilization. From the capture point of view, efforts are focused on improving amine performances and developing novel CO2 solvents (solids, MORFs) and CO2-to-chemicals and fuels processes. On the storage side, the focus is on ocean storage, biological fixation, geological storage and mineral carbonation.

One of the key points in the development of CCUS is the possible utilization of the captured carbon dioxide. At the moment most projects intend to use the captured CO2 for EOR, but other applications may include natural gas processing and iron and steel production. The future directions of CCUS in the United States include the development of multifunctional smart CO2 capture media, the deployment of a diverse portfolio of projects ranging from market-ready to highly innovative, the enhancement of carbon utilization and the need to develop international collaborations.