Missouri Carbon Sequestration Project

Geophysical investigations to examine potential CO2 injection sites.

The Missouri Carbon Sequestration Project, a federally funded research project being conducted under a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE), is seeking to assess the feasibility of carbon sequestration at Missouri power plant sites. Missouri electric utilities must establish methods to reduce CO2 emissions or face potential carbon taxes that may double electric rates in the state if greenhouse-gas emissions are more heavily regulated.

Coal-fired power plants provide about 80 percent of Missouri’s electric generation, and plants are generally located great distances from DOE regional carbon sequestration sites. For this reason, the DOE is interested in finding more local solutions for carbon sequestration.

Working for a consortium of utility companies, university scientists and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, GeoEngineers’ Springfield office led the geophysical investigation of a proposed carbon dioxide injection site at City Utilities of Springfield by conducting a 3D seismic reflection survey.

Since then, GeoEngineers has taken over as Co-Principal Investigator of the project, providing consulting services that include supervising and directing the work of other technical and administrative consultants, interfacing with DOE and Missouri Department of Natural Resource regulatory staff, and ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations, in addition to many other activities.

The project consortium is now exploring possible sequestration sites at three other Missouri utility locations. These investigations combined with information gained from the City Utilities of Springfield site will more accurately assess the viability of carbon sequestration in the state.

Approach

  • Together with subcontractor Basin Geophysical, LLC, GeoEngineers conducted a 3D seismic reflection survey up to 2,000 feet below the surface and evaluated subsurface conditions.  This process uses a  truck-mounted “hammer” to send acoustic energy into the earth at specified points—a technique typically used for deep oil exploration.
  • GeoEngineers’ geophysicists interpreted and studied the data processed from the vibrations echoed back during the seismic survey.
  • GeoEngineers is providing management and technical services for the project consortium as it explores other possible Missouri carbon sequestration sites.

Results

After reviewing GeoEngineers’ geophysical study and other geotechnical data, the project consortium determined the City Utilities of Springfield site was not a viable location for carbon sequestration. Missouri Carbon Sequestration Project resources can now be focused on exploring other possible carbon injection sites in Missouri.

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