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The Development of Large-Scale Capture Projects in Illinois: The Next Steps in CO2 Value Chain Development – Kevin O’Brien

21 October 2022 @ 12:00 - 13:00

Seminar with Kevin O’Brien, in person at LT1, ACEX Building, Imperial College London, or online, Friday 21st October, 12pm.


The recent passage of the Inflationary Reduction Act (IRA) legislation in the US has created a great deal of interest in the scale-up and deployment of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Systems.  It is important to note that the US Department of Energy (DOE) has funded R&D in CCUS for many years.  This funded has helped to increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of capture, utilization, and storage activities. The state of Illinois has had a variety of projects that demonstrated how the DOE investment has been used to increase TRL and build a CO2 value chain within the state.  This value chain includes CO2 sources (point sources), CO2 sinks (storage sites), and CO2 off-takers for utilization. Point source capture has now also expanded into Direct Air Capture (DAC) activities.  These projects have been led by the Prairie Research Institute (PRI), one of the largest research institutes within the University of Illinois (U of I).  The excellent geology of Illinois coupled with the scientific leadership of PRI/U of I, has resulted in stimulating interest in demonstration projects and the planned formation of a DAC Hub. Illinois has established itself as a leader in the execution of large-scale point source and DAC projects.


Kevin O’Brien, Ph.D., is the Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) and Director of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). These organizations are dedicated to the use of energy and water resources in a sustainable fashion to drive economic development. One of the major focuses of ISTC has been on capturing and utilizing carbon emissions from power plants and industrial sources. Dr. O’Brien is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the largest capture FEED study in the world and the largest capture pilot in the world (now at a build/operate phase). He also leads the 21st Century Power Plant project – a project that combines capture, utilization, and energy storage along with a new approach for energy generation. Dr. O’Brien is also the PI for scaling-up Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies at various locations that connect with existing renewable resources.