A carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) review and drilling study commissioned by renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis, Inc. (Aemetis) has concluded that over two million metric tonnes (MT) per year of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be captured from the atmosphere and stored safely underground at two ethanol plant sites in California.

The geologic formation review and drilling study was carried out by a subsidiary of Aemetis, Aemetis Carbon Capture whereas global energy services company Baker Hughes conducted the study itself.

The study concluded that 1m MT of CO2 can be sequestered per year in deep underground saline formations at or near the Aemetis Keyes ethanol plant site. Due to the high permeability of the saline formation and other factors it was also noted that up to 1.4m MT per year of CO2 should be injectable at or near the Aemetis Riverbank site.

Commenting on the results, Brian Fojtasek, ATSI, the project manager for the Aemetis Carbon Capture construction phase, said, “The conclusions from the initial Baker Hughes geologic formation and pre-drilling study confirm the feasibility of Aemetis plans to construct two CO2 injection wells at or near the Aemetis biofuels sites.”

He also mentioned that the company has completed Front End Loading engineering and is now working on the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and permitting for the Aemetis CCS projects.

It is expected that the two sites being utilised for storage will be able to sequester an amount of CO2 equal to the emissions from 460,000 passenger cars each year.

Ajit Menon, Energy Transition Leader, Oilfield Services, Baker Hughes, spoke about the project, saying, “This is another step in the development of CCS capacity, which will be a key part of the energy transition forward.”

Menon also sees this latest study as building on its already deep experience in handling each stage of a CCS injection project.

Approximately $200 per MT of will be generated from the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard for each MT of CO2, in addition to $50 per MT of IRS 45Q tax credit.

A legislation to increase the federal tax credit to $80 per MT of CO2 is currently pending in Congress. The legislation also hopes to help finance CCS projects in the US in the form of billions of dollars in grants and loans.