Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership

About the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership

The Midwestern Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) has been established to assess the technical potential, economic viability, and public acceptability of carbon sequestration within its region. It is one of seven regional partnerships established by the DOE across the U.S. as part of an overall DOE strategy to develop robust, cost-effective options for mitigating carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions that contribute to climate change. 

The MRCSP region originally consisted of seven contiguous states: Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. New York became the eighth member state in 2007. In the summer of 2009, New Jersey joined the MRCSP as its ninth state. Delaware recently joined in 2015. A group of leading universities, state geological surveys, nongovernmental organizations and private companies, led by Battelle, has been assembled to carry out this important research. 
The DOE's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Program is being implemented in three incremental phases. MRCSP initiated work in October 2003 under a two-year Phase I, or Characterization Phase. The research continued under Phase II, or Validation Phase, which was completed in 2010 and will be summarized in reports that are currently being prepared. MRCSP has now initiated a 10-year, third phase, or Development Phase, of the research.  

The objective of the Phase I effort was to develop a coherent picture of CO₂ sources and sequestration opportunities in the MRCSP region. Based on this mapping activity, the MRCSP developed recommendations for small-scale field validation tests.  During Phase II, the MRCSP conducted multiple geologic and terrestrial field tests throughout the region. Phase III research focuses on deploying a larger-scale geologic field test. The knowledge gained from this research will be of broad value to the regional economy, allowing continued production of clean, affordable energy that uses economic fossil fuels in a manner consistent with climate change. In the long run, the MRCSP aims to: 
  • Bring together internationally-recognized research leaders to help develop practical carbon management solutions.  
  • Define the real-world potential and what it will take to realize the potential carbon sequestration in the region.  
  • Help the region create a robust and cost-effective means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  
  • Enable the region to take a leadership position in developing local and global carbon management solutions.  
 A Snapshot of the MRCSP Region
  • Population: 82.7 million (26 percent of the U.S. population)  
  • Gross Regional Product: $4.62 trillion (27 percent of the U.S. economy)  
  • 24% of all electricity generated in the US  
  • 51% of electricity generated in the region is generated by coal 
The MRCSP Team

The MRCSP currently consists of nearly 40 members. All are contributing technical knowledge, expertise and cost sharing in various amounts. DOE, through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), is the single largest sponsor of the MRCSP’s research. The Ohio Coal Development Office is the second largest funding organization followed by a number of the region’s largest energy companies and other participating organizations.

MRCSP team members are categorized broadly into two groups, the research partner team and the industry partner team. The research partner team includes many of the MRCSP region's leading universities, state geological surveys, research firms and a regional, environmental nongovernmental organization. The industry partner team includes state energy agencies, energy companies, other industrial companies (including the world’s largest steel producer), suppliers to the energy industry, and agricultural entities that are active in the MRCSP region. Current Phase III team members are listed alphabetically below.

Primary Sponsor: DOE/NETL 
Project Lead: Battelle 

Industry Partner Team 
American Electric Power 
AMP Ohio 
Babcock and Wilcox 
British Petroleum 
Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED) 
Chicago Climate Exchange 
CONSOL Energy 
Constellation Energy 
Consumer Energy 
DTE Energy 
Duke Energy 
Indiana Office of the Consumer Counselor 
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) 
Ohio Coal Development Office within the Ohio Department of Development 
Ohio Consumers' Counsel 
Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Inc.

Research Partner Team
Core Energy LLC 
Indiana Geological Survey 
Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky 
Maryland Geological Survey 
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 
New York State Museum 
Ohio Division of Geological Survey 
Ohio Environmental Council 
Pennsylvania Geological Survey 
Rutgers University The Keystone Center 
The Ohio State University 
Stanford University 
University of Maryland 
Wade, LLC 
West Virginia Geological Survey 
West Virginia University 
Western Michigan University

MRCSP Characterization Phase Activities (Phase I)

During the first phase of the program (October 2003 - September 2005), the MRCSP:
  • Identified CO₂ sources in the region.  Assessed the cost of capturing CO₂ from these sources.  Assessed the region's potential for storing CO₂ in deep geologic reservoirs and terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Identified critical issues for technology deployment, safety, economics, regulations and
  • public acceptability.
  • Engaged stakeholders to inform them about carbon sequestration and obtain their
  • feedback.
  • Identified potential Phase II field demonstration projects.
CO₂ Sources in the MRCSP Region

Due to its large and diverse economy, the MRCSP region includes a large variety of agricultural and industrial sources of greenhouse gases. Most of these emissions are in the form of CO₂; however, a portion of these greenhouse gases are in the form of other gases (e.g., methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases). Therefore, when scientists speak of these other greenhouse gases, they speak of them in terms of their climate change impact equivalence to CO₂ emissions.

The MRCSP region emits more than 830 million metric tons of CO₂ each year from large point sources including power plants, refineries, cement plants, and iron and steel plants (not including New Jersey). A large point source in this case is one that emits more than 100,000 tons of CO₂ annually. Automobiles and other forms of transportation are collectively another major source of anthropogenic (man-made) CO₂ emissions.

MRCSP's Terrestrial and Geologic CO₂ Reservoirs

The states of New York and New Jersey have recently joined the MRCSP. The following data are currently being updated to include the these states.

The MRCSP has a great potential for both terrestrial and geologic sequestration. The region contains a variety of terrestrial sequestration options, such as eroded and noneroded (prime) cropland, marginal land, mine land, and wetland and marsh land. For example, the region contains a large area of degraded and abandoned mine lands that, if properly restored, could serve as an important terrestrial sequestration reservoir.
The MRCSP's potential for sequestration in deep geologic formations includes large areas of deep saline formations, depleted gas formations and unmineable coal seams. There is also a large number of depleted reservoirs that could use CO₂ to help boost domestic oil production while simultaneously sequestrating CO₂ in a process known as enhanced oil recovery. Gaining a better understanding of the distribution of these formations across nine states and their ability to sequester CO₂ is a continuing focus of MRCSP's geologic research.
MRCSP Validation Phase Activities (Phase II)

The MRCSP's work during the second phase of the program (2005 - 2010) involved a series of small-scale, field validation tests that were used to assess the sequestration potential of the region. Field tests like these are critical aspects of advancing our knowledge of sequestration technologies and how they will perform in the real world. Specifically, the MRCSP activities included:
  • Three small-scale CO₂ injection field tests in different types of regional geologic reservoirs (Appalachian Basin, Cincinnati Arch and Michigan Basin) to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of geologic sequestration systems.
  • Three terrestrial sequestration projects in a variety of land types (cropland, reclaimed mineland, and wetland and marshland) to measure the impact of improved management practices and increase our understanding of sequestration opportunities in the region. 
  • Innovative "piggyback drilling" pioneered by Battelle that will allow the MRCSP to leverage ongoing and extensive investments made by local oil and gas drilling companies to gather sequestration data such as core samples from deep geologic formations. 
  • Research initiated during Phase I to further map and define the region's sequestration potential. 
  • Continued work to develop an understanding of key regulatory issues. 
  • Engaging and informing stakeholders about this important class of technologies.
MRCSP Development Phase Activities (Phase III)

Phase III research responds to the need to further increase our scientific knowledge in preparing for future commercialization. Beginning in 2008 and lasting for 10 years, the research will use the knowledge and experience gained to date and move beyond the small-scale tests to implement a substantially larger-scale injection of CO₂. During the third, or Development Phase, MRCSP is conducting a larger-scale geologic field test in Otsego County, Michigan. This project leverages existing EOR operations to inject carbon dioxide into a small number of oil fields located within the Niagaran pinnacle reef trend.
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