Archer Daniels Midland Starts Operations on Second Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage Project

Global food processor Archer Daniels Midland, headquartered in Chicago, announced on April 7 that the $200 million Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) project – a partnership to safely and permanently store more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide annually – has begun operations by injecting CO2 into a large saline reservoir.

Led and operated by ADM, the project is demonstrating an integrated system for collecting CO2 from an ethanol production plant and geologically storing the CO2 in a deep underground sandstone reservoir. The CO2 is a byproduct from processing corn to fuel-grade ethanol at the ADM plant through biological fermentation.

Based in Decatur, Illinois, the carbon capture initiative also is being administered by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy ;and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory – and by a cost share agreement with ADM, the University of Illinois through the Illinois State Geological Survey, Schlumberger Carbon Services, and Richland Community College. . Specifically, the project received a $141 million investment from DOE, matched by over $66 million in private-sector cost share.

“Today’s announcement marks a major step forward for the advancement of industrial carbon capture and storage technologies,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Doug Hollett, “We congratulate ADM and their partners on this important accomplishment.”

The CO2 will be stored in the Mt. Simon Sandstone in the Illinois Basin  – one of the largest saline aquifers in the world. While the project can store approximately 1 million tons of CO2 per year at depths of about 7,000 feet, researchers estimate that the sandstone formation can potentially store more than 250 million tons of produced CO2 each year. Nearly 50 years of successful natural gas storage in the Mt. Simon Sandstone indicates that this saline reservoir and overlying seals should effectively contain stored CO2.

“The technology that we are using in Decatur can be a model for reducing industrial carbon emissions around the world,” commented ADM chief technology officer said Todd Werpy in an official company statement. “We’re pleased to be working with great partners in the U.S. Department of Energy, Richland Community College and the University of Illinois-Illinois State Geological Survey, and we’re excited to move forward as we not only reduce our carbon emissions in Decatur, but also contribute to important research that will help other companies do the same.”

“2017 is a watershed year for carbon capture in the United States. On the heels of the successful opening of Petra Nova in Texas, the Illinois Industrial facility serves as another example that large-scale CCS deployment works, is safe, and serves as a key component of a low carbon future,” said Jeff Erikson, general manager of the Americas Region of the Global CCS Institute. “The Illinois Industrial CCS Facility is the 12th large-scale CCS facility operating in North America, and the first large-scale application of CCS on biofuels production in the world.

“With this landmark achievement,” Erikson said, “ADM will now capture and store about 1 million tons of CO2 per year. We applaud ADM for their vision and leadership, and acknowledge the foresight and wise investment provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.”

This is the second carbon capture and storage project that ADM has helped to lead. Previously, the company removed and stored approximately 1 million tons of carbon over three years as part of the smaller-scale Illinois Basin-Decatur Project, led by the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium at the University of Illinois.

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