Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

North America has at least 500 years of underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage capacity, according to the North American Carbon Storage Atlas.

Fossil Fuels

500 Years of Underground Carbon Storage Mapped across North America

North America has at least 500 years of underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage capacity, according to the North American Carbon Storage Atlas.

Underground CCS

Potential sites mapped out across the continent

North America has at least 500 years of underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage capacity, according to the North American Carbon Storage Atlas (NACSA). The project, a joint venture between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, is the first-ever atlas to map out potential storage sites.

While the atlas includes high- and low-range estimates, the low (and more realistic) end finds 136 billion metric tons of storage in oil and gas fields, 65 billion metric tons in coal fields, and 1.7 trillion metric tons in saline reservoirs. Combined, these sites represent over 500 years of storage.

Key Data Merged

In addition to mapping out potential storage sites, NACSA also plots the locations of 2,250 large, stationary carbon dioxide sources, mainly large fossil-fuel burning power plants. The combined data has been used to create an online viewer and website, and integrates contributions from the 400 organizations in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships.

By overlaying the two sides of the carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) equation — capture and transportation — the atlas may help facilitate building the infrastructure necessary to capture emissions while all three countries transition to clean energy sources.

Cost Hurdles Remain

The feasibility of CCS has long been debated, but would be a critical tool to slowing climate change. CCS covers many different types of technologies, but the basic theory is that CO2 emissions are captured at large point sources (like power plants) and chilled to a liquid form. Once converted, the CO2 would be piped to suitable locations and safely sequestered underground.

Adding the requisite equipment to existing smokestacks and building new pipelines would cost millions of dollars per site, a significant hurdle to the technology best embodied by the DOE’s oft-delayed FutureGen project.

Some Testing Completed

However, a related project may be reducing the gap between potential and reality by testing potential CO2 storage sites. DOE recently announced test drilling had been completed at three potential underground storage sites, with two located in proximity to significant emissions sources.

The Newark basin, which runs under a heavily industrialized section of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania is estimated to have a storage capacity of up to 10 billion metric tons. The Rock Springs Uplift, in southwestern Wyoming, is located near several of the state’s largest emissions sources and has a storage capacity of 23 billion metric tons.

Source: Green Car Congress

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate policy public relations company based in Oakland, CA.


You May Also Like

Climate Change

China is crowing about two new carbon capture projects while adding dozens more coal generating stations to its electrical grid.

Climate Change

Canada's pipeline to nowhere keeps getting worse and worse for Canadians. And it's not like anyone in Alberta is thanking the federal Liberals for...


We don't need to make 25 times as much biofuel, we need to make perhaps four or five times as much as we do...


Our methane emissions from all the waste material we leave lying around the place is 15%+ as big a problem as the carbon dioxide...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.