Additional monies from the S.C. Geological Survey, the university and the University of Illinois put the total funding for the project at about $6 million, he said.
The DOE’s grants also include projects in Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, California, Alabama, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming. Researchers will evaluate each site for its potential to store CO2, provide geological data that will be added to a public database and participate in technical working groups to determine the selection of storage sites.
Carolina’s researchers will focus on three rural areas of the Lowcountry, just above the SGR, including one with a wildcat well drilled years ago in a search for oil and gas. Studies of that well and other data have given researchers a glimpse of the geologic formations in the area, Shafer said.
“Based on what we’ve seen, we believe that this could be a viable area for the storage of CO2,” Shafer said. “We already have a good idea of what we will find.”
The university is not involved in the technology involved in carbon capture.
“This is a process called carbon capture and storage, or CCS,” he said. “Other researchers are involved in this work. We are focusing strictly on the geologic properties below the earth where we can store CO2. ”