Mines Integrated Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Initiative

Calendar of Events

Building an Integrated Initiative

There is unprecedented interest in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), carbon management, negative emissions and deep decarbonization worldwide. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have identified carbon sequestration as one of society’s grand challenges, and multiple national labs and the U.S. Department of Energy have significant ongoing work in the area. The need for detailed scientific and engineering research, coupled with cross-cutting work on policy, markets and regulation is critical.

Colorado School of Mines is a top technical research university in areas related to energy, natural resources and environment. A public university with a strong emphasis on applied research and educating students to help lead the energy transition, Mines is actively engaged in areas related to one or more aspects of the CCUS chain and faculty provide relevant expertise that spans from fundamental chemistry to reactor engineering and cultivate a collaborative working environment across disciplines.

image courtesy of Prof. Rob Braun, Mechanical Engineering

Areas of CCUS Research at Mines

image courtesy of Prof. Yaoguo Li, Geophysics

Geologic reservoir characterization and storage

  • Fluid Rock interactions to evaluate carbon mineralization
  • Geochemical indicators of CO2 leakage
  • Geophysical quantification of CO2 in place
  • CO2 storage capacity in the seal and reservoir formations
  • CO2 leakage into the seal formation

Capture

• Capture membranes
• Chemical looping

Utilization

  • Upgrade captured CO2 to commodity chemicals
  • CO2 to fuels
  • EOR

Capture Policy and economics

  • Carbon Pricing
  • Industry CCUS policy
  • Regulatory approaches to CCUS
  • Data analytics for characterizing successful CCUS projects

CCUS News and Links

The quest to put carbon to rest at sea 4/22/2021

The quest to put carbon to rest at sea

Payne Institute Program Manager Laura Singer contributed to this article about how the Earth’s ocean acts as a global climate regulator, and scientists are increasingly studying its chemistry and geology to find potential ways to store carbon dioxide captured from emissions or removed from the air.  Oceans are bearing some of the brunt of the climate change.  April 22, 2021.

Shaping a Global Energy Future 3/24/2021

Shaping a global energy future – The Conveyor Podcast

Dr. John Bradford, Vice Provost of Global Initiatives at Colorado School of Mines, on the podcast The Conveyor, discusses the new Global Energy Future Initiative, with much of the world looking at eliminating carbon emissions from the global energy economy, and the many changes and growth that will be required across many technologies, industries and more to ensure a thoughtful and efficient shift toward cleaner energy sources.  March 24, 2021. 

CCUS: A Startup Perspective – Interview with Carbon America 3/19/2021

CCUS: A Startup Perspective – Interview with Carbon America

Mines Integrated CCUS Initiative and Payne Institute Podcast featuring Scott Frazier, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, Charlene Russell, Chief Commercial Officer, Kevin Pykkonen, VP, Business Development, and Miles Abarr, Chief Engineer discussing how their company, Carbon America, was created to transform the carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) industry by lowering costs and rapidly increasing deployment with Laura Singer, Payne Institute Program Manager.  March 19, 2021.

March is Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Month at Colorado School of Mines 3/8/2021

March is Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Month at Colorado School of Mines

The Mines Integrated CCUS Initiative and the Payne Institute for Public Policy presents events all month long will highlight impressive CCUS work happening at Mines and beyond.  The initiative is supported by the CCUS@Mines Task Force — composed of leaders from industry and government agencies actively working in the CCUS sectors. It is envisaged that the CCUS initiative will become a major focus area at the university that includes a graduate curriculum for a new CCUS-focused program, student recruitment, world-class research and a sustainable funding model for a CCUS research center.  March 8, 2021.

Norway agrees to fund Equinor’s Northern Lights CO2 project 12/15/2020

Norway agrees to fund Equinor’s Northern Lights CO2 project

Following a historic vote in parliament, the Norwegian government announced its funding decision for the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project.  The funding decision demonstrates the Norwegian government’s support for the development of a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) value chain, which is essential if Europe is to achieve its carbon neutrality targets.  Northern Lights will be the first of its kind – an open and available infrastructure enabling transport of CO2 from industrial capture sites to a terminal in Øygarden for intermediate storage before being transported by pipeline for permanent storage in a reservoir 2600 meters under the seabed.  December 15, 2020.

Climeworks’ direct air carbon capture plant to remove 4,000 mt CO2/year 12/2/2020

Climeworks’ Direct Air Carbon Capture Plant to remove 4,000 mt CO2/year

Direct air carbon capture company Climeworks has started construction of a plant in Iceland that will trap and bury 4,000 mt/year of CO2.  The plant — which will run on renewable energy — will be the first ever large-scale direct air carbon capture and storage facility, according to the company.  December 2, 2020.  

TOTAL AND ITS PARTNERS RELEASE NEXT-GENERATION & OPEN-SOURCE GEOLOGICAL CARBON DIOXIDE STORAGE SIMULATOR 11/10/2020

TOTAL AND ITS PARTNERS RELEASE NEXT-GENERATION & OPEN-SOURCE GEOLOGICAL CARBON DIOXIDE STORAGE SIMULATOR

After more than two years of joint research, Total, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Stanford University release GEOSX, an open source simulator for large-scale geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage.  GEOSX was developed using advanced new technologies in high-performance computing and applied mathematics and aims to improve the management and safety of geological CO2 repositories. Its computing performance is unmatched to date.  The open-source nature of GEOSX aims to ensure a high level of transparency, sharing and community support to pave the way for the large-scale development of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technologies.  November 10, 2020.

Global Status of CCS Report 2020 11/1/2020

Global Status of CCS Report 2020

The Global Status of CCS Report 2020 demonstrates the vital role of carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS) in reducing emissions to net-zero by 2050 as well as documenting the current status and important milestones for the technology over the past 12 months.  The report provides detailed information on and analyses of the global CCS facility pipeline, international policy perspectives, CO2 storage and the CCS legal and regulatory environment.  November 2020.

Levelized Cost of Carbon Abatement: An Improved Cost-Assessment Methodology for a Net-Zero Emissions World 10/19/2020

Levelized Cost of Carbon Abatement: An Improved Cost-Assessment Methodology for a Net-Zero Emissions World

New policies are needed to achieve the net-zero emissions required to address climate change. To succeed, these policies must lead directly to swift and profound abatement of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Policies that appear effective on the surface too often have little real impact or are costly compared to alternatives. Governments, investors, and decision makers require better tools focused on understanding the real emissions impacts and costs of policies and other measures in order to design the most effective policies required to create a net-zero world. This paper, from the Carbon Management Research Initiative at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, puts forward a levelized cost of carbon abatement, LCCA, an improved methodology for comparing technologies and policies based on the cost of carbon abatement.  October 19, 2020. 

Colorado School of Mines launches Integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Initiative 9/18/2020

Colorado School of Mines launches Integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Initiative

Led by the Payne Institute for Public Policy and the Mines’ Office of Global Initiatives, the Integrated CCUS initiative will be interdisciplinary across Mines departments.  Global interest in carbon capture, utilization and storage is unprecedented as one of the key strategies for addressing climate change. The need for detailed scientific and engineering research, coupled with cross-cutting work on policy, markets and regulation of the technology is equally critical.  September 18, 2020.

CCUS in Clean Energy Transitions – September 2020

CCUS in Clean Energy Transitions

A net-zero energy system requires a profound transformation in the way we produce and use energy that can only be achieved with a broad suite of technologies. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is the only group of technologies that contributes both to reducing emissions in key sectors directly and to removing CO2 to balance emissions that are challenging to avoid – a critical part of “net” zero goals. After years of slow progress, new investment incentives and strengthened climate goals are building new momentum behind CCUS. The report examines in detail the role for CCUS technologies in clean energy transitions. It identifies four key contributions: tackling emissions from existing energy infrastructure; a solution for sectors with hard-to-abate emissions; a platform for low-carbon hydrogen production; and removing carbon from the atmosphere. The report considers innovation needs across CCUS technologies and applications. It includes new geospatial analysis of power and industrial emissions in key regions and their proximity to potential geological storage. September 2020.

Interactive Map of CCUS Projects in Development in the U.S. 7/27/2020

Interactive Map of CCUS Projects in Development in the U.S.

The expanded and extended 45Q tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) projects passed by the U.S. Congress in early 2018 is the most significant carbon capture-specific incentive available, globally, and is spurring the progress of dozens of projects around the country. Other nations that are looking to create successful carbon reduction policies are closely tracking the impact of 45Q. July 27, 2020.

MEET THE INTEGRATED CCUS RESEARCHERS

Linda Battalora
Teaching Professor, Petroleum Engineering

Jyoti Behura
Research Assistant Professor, Geophysics

Nanette Boyle
Assistant Professor
Coors Developmental Chair
Chemical and Biological Engineering

John Bradford
Professor of Geophysics
Vice President for Global Initiatives

Robert Braun
Rowlinson Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Jared Carbone
Associate Professor, Economics and Business

Moises Carreon
Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Tzahi Y. Cath
Ben L. Fryrear Professor 
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Ben Gilbert
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business

Marte Gutierrez
James R. Paden Chair and Distinguished Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, University Transportation Center for Underground Transportation Infrastructure (UTC-UTI)

Kathleen Hancock

Kathleen Hancock
Associate Professor and NREP Graduate Program Director, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Andrew Herring
Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Hossein Kazemi
Professor, Chesebro’ Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Engineering

Robert Kee
George R. Brown Distinguished Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Carolyn Koh
William K. Coors Distinguished Chair and Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering

Richard Krahenbuhl
Research Assistant Professor, Geophysics
Associate Director, Humanitarian, Engineering, & Science Graduate Program

Adrianne Kroepsch
Assistant Professor, Humanitarian, Engineering, & Sciences

Ian Lange
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business

Yaoguo Li
Professor, Geophysics
Director, Center for Gravity, Electrical and Magnetic Studies

Shannon Davies Mancus
Teaching Associate Professor, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Mike McGuirk
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Junko Munakata Marr
Interim Department Head and Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Priscilla Nelson
Professor, Mining Engineering

Ryan O’Hayre
Professor, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Matthew Posewitz
Professor, Department of Chemistry

Manika Prasad
Professor, Geophysics

Svitlana Pylypenko
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Ryan Richards
Professor, Department of Chemistry
Director, Joint Mines/NREL Nexus Center

Laura Singer
Program Manager, Payne Institute for Public Policy

Alexis Navarre-Sitchler
Associate Professor, Geology and Geological Engineering

Steven Smith
Assistant Professor, Economics and Business

Stephen Sonnenberg
Professor, Geology and Geological Engineering
Charles Boettcher Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Geology

Timothy Strathmann
Interim Associate Department Head and Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Neal Sullivan
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Ali Tura
Professor, Geophysics
Director, Reservoir Characterization Project

Colin Wolden
Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Yu-Shu Wu
Professor, Petroleum Engineering
Energi Simulation Chair

Luis E. Zerpa
Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Rock & Fluid Multiphysics

For more information about the Integrated Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Initiative at the Colorado School of Mines, please contact the Payne Institute for Public Policy Program Manager, Laura Singer, at lsinger@mines.edu, Colorado School of Mines Vice President for Global Initiatives, John Bradford, at jbradford@mines.edu, or Colorado School of Mines Professor of Geophysics, Manika Prasad, at mprasad@mines.edu.