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UW carbon storage project receives $8.4 million in federal funding

The University of Wyoming project is one of 11 CarbonSAFE Phase II Storage Complex Feasibility projects that the U.S. Department of Energy announced funding for Jan. 30.

Basalt 1 (James St. John 2.0 generic creative commons www.flickr.com/photos/jsjgeology/16540710327)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A University of Wyoming carbon storage project is among 11 carbon storage projects the U.S. Department of Energy announced today that it’s funding.

With the HERO Basalt carbon storage assurance facility enterprise, or CarbonSAFE, project, the University of Wyoming plans to accelerate the scale-up and deployment of commercial carbon dioxide, or CO2, storage in basaltic rocks in a complex near Hermiston, Ore.

The department will provide roughly $8.4 million. Other funding for the project amounts to about $2.1 million.

“Basalt formations represent an attractive alternative for CO₂ storage due to their potential for rapid mineralization, widespread geographic distribution, and potentially large storage capacity,” the project description said. “The abundance of basalts in the Pacific Northwest makes them a critical reservoir type for deploying CO2 storage in the region.”

The University of Wyoming project is among 11 projects that received, in total, $93 million in funding under the “CarbonSAFE: Phase II – Storage Complex Feasibility” to improve procedures to safely, efficiently and affordably assess project sites within a storage complex at a commercial scale. These projects were selected under the department’s CarbonSAFE initiative, which focuses on developing geological storage sites to cumulatively store at least 50 million metric tons of CO₂.

The University of Wyoming project is one of 33 research and development projects the department is funding with a total of $131 million, the Jan. 30 news release said.

The department’s encouraging the deployment of carbon management technologies to reduce CO₂ pollution.

“The projects will address technical challenges of capturing CO2 from power plants and industrial facilities or directly from the atmosphere and assess potential CO2 storage sites, increasing the number of sites progressing toward commercial operations,” the release said. “Expanding commercial CO2 storage capacity and related carbon management industries will provide economic opportunities for communities and workers, helping to deliver on President Biden’s goal of equitably achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

The department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the projects.


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