Montana State University

Montana carbon sequestration study receives state funding

April 28, 2008 -- From MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN -- Montana State University's Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership has received a $157,000 grant from the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization to help fund a study of the potential for geologic carbon sequestration at Kevin Dome in northern Montana.

The study is a part of the partnership's Validation Phase research activities being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing carbon dioxide from point sources, such as a power plant, and storing it permanently in deep underground geological formations. Carbon sequestration is seen as viable strategy to help stabilize global carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Kevin Dome is a subsurface dome-shaped rock structure. This study, led by MSU geologists David Bowen and David Lageson, will evaluate the potential of the dome as a storage site for man-made carbon dioxide emissions. The scientists will use existing well logs, core samples and a variety of subsurface data, including seismic surveys, to characterize the porosity, permeability, thickness, areal extent, and structural features of the dome.

The similarity of Kevin Dome to other large domes in Montana and Wyoming make this an important research opportunity with regional significance, according to MSU scientists. Field activities are planned to take place during this summer.

The Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership is one of seven regional partnerships funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to work on the best approaches for capturing and permanently storing greenhouse gases. The Big Sky partnership relies on existing technologies from the fields of engineering, geology, chemistry, biology, geographic information systems and economics to develop novel approaches for both geologic and terrestrial carbon storage in this region.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or evelynb@montana.edu