Battelle, a global research and development organisation committed to science and technology for the greater good, has completed one of the first tests for geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) at a commercial, coal-fired power plant.

Battelle started the carbon capture and storage (CCS) research project at the American Electric Power (AEP) Mountaineer Plant in New Haven, West Virginia in 2002 with research funding from the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Based on the positive findings from the exploratory well drilling and seismic survey, AEP decided in 2007 to proceed with a 20MW pilot test facility, with on-site CO2 capture, compression, transport and injection.

Neeraj Gupta, Battelle Senior Research Leader, said in a statement, “The geologic storage programme was essential for proving the CO2 storage capacity, injectivity and safe containment at a working power plant.”

He continued, “It was the first CCS project at a working coal-fired power plant, it was funded primarily by private sources, it was a cradle-to-grave project, and we showed it could be done, especially in the Appalachian Basin region, which is so reliant on fossil fuels.”

The Mountaineer project helped establish the technical viability of CCS to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, and to store CO2 in geologic layers with limited prior data. It addressed the science and field operation aspects, which are crucial for future deployment of the CCS technologies, the Columbus, Ohio-based company said.

The project demonstrated the full life-cycle, from inception, characterisation well-drilling to find suitable storage zones, reservoir analysis, integration with pilot-scale system for a CO2 supply, injection, storage assessment, monitoring and final close-out.