$4.9 million grant to address storage of carbon dioxide
A $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to the University of South Carolina will determine the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide underground in an effort to curb global climate change.
The funding, which will go to researchers from the university’s Earth Sciences and Resources Institute (ESRI) and department of earth and ocean sciences, is one of only 11 national awards from DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. The grants are valued at $75.5 million and are aimed at understanding whether CO2 – a greenhouse gas believed to be a culprit in climate change – can be safely stored in geologic formations, including abandoned oil and gas reservoirs, coal beds and underground reservoirs of salt water, also called deep saline aquifers.
Carolina’s three-year grant will focus on the South Georgia Rift (SGR) basin, where deep saline aquifers exist in Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper counties, said Dr. John Shafer, ESRI-SC director and the grant’s principal investigator.
“Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas,” he said. “If we can find a viable way to capture carbon dioxide and store it safely underground for centuries, then we can perhaps reduce the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere”.