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From left, Stephen Kresovich, Camelia Knapp, Dr. John Shafer and James Knapp at the grant announcement.
From left, Stephen Kresovich, Camelia Knapp, Dr. John Shafer and James Knapp at the grant announcement.

Continued: ESRI

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. ”

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$4.9 million DOE grant

  • What: Department of Energy grant to university for purpose of studying feasibility of storing carbon dioxide underground
  • Why: Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas, and safe storage of it out of the earth's atmosphere would, it is believed, lessen global warming
  • Who: John Shafer, ESRI-SC director, is the grant’s principal investigator.
  • Who else: Carolina researchers Michael Waddell of ESRI and James Knapp and Camelia Knapp of the department of earth and ocean sciences, plus the S.C. Geological Survey, the University of Illinois, Weatherford Laboratories of Houston and Bay Geophysical Inc. of Traverse City, Mich.

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