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USA starts on $164m carbon capture scheme

26 Aug 11 Construction has begun of the USA’s first large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage (ICCS) facility.

The US$163.9m (£100m) project in Decatur, Illinois, will capture and store a million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year produced as the result of processing corn into fuel-grade ethanol from the nearby Archer Daniels Midland biofuels plant.

The facility will have a ‘negative carbon footprint’ as all of the captured CO2 will be produced from biologic fermentation. The storage will result in a net reduction of atmospheric CO2.

“Illinois is at the forefront of helping ensure the US remains competitive in the global clean energy economy, creating new jobs while reducing carbon pollution,” said US energy secretary Steven Chu.  “This first of its kind project will bring jobs to Illinois while advancing technology that the United States can sell around the world.”

The ICCS project is designed to sequester approximately 2,500t carbon dioxide per day in the saline Mount Simon Sandstone formation at depths of approximately 2,130m. It is estimated that the sandstone formation can potentially store billions of tons of CO2 and has the overall potential to sequester all of the that is produced each year by industry in the Illinois Basin region. Capture and storage of CO2 is expected to begin in late summer 2013. It is estimated that approximately 260 jobs will be created through construction and operation phases.

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