News & Publications
Centers of Excellence

Center for Climate Change & Carbon Capture and Storage

The EERC is a global leader in the areas of climate change and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major by-product of energy use. CCS comprises capturing CO2 and putting it into environmentally sound temporary or permanent storage.

There is growing concern that the ongoing accumulation of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activity may affect the global climate. The Global Climate Change Initiative, issued by President George W. Bush in February 2002, called for an 18% reduction in U.S. CO2 intensity by 2012. Conservation, more efficient power systems, renewable energy, and CCS are all tools to help reduce CO2 intensity.

The EERC has two major programs focused on climate change and CCS.

Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership

The EERC is currently leading one of the world’s largest programs dedicated to developing and demonstrating technologies to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from large-scale sources. The EERC’s PCOR Partnership is one of seven regional partnerships operating under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (RCSP) Program. This multiyear effort, which began in 2003, is being conducted in three phases. Since its inception, the PCOR Partnership’s nearly 100 private and public sector members have provided data, guidance, financial resources, and practical experience with CCS. The PCOR Partnership region includes all or part of nine states and four Canadian provinces.

Project Goals

The PCOR Partnership Program is being implemented in three phases:
  • Phase I – Characterization Phase (2003–2005): characterized carbon sequestration opportunities within the region.
  • Phase II – Validation Phase (2005–2009): conducted four carbon storage field validation projects focused on the region’s subsurface and terrestrial settings.
  • Phase III – Deployment Phase (2007–2017): is focusing on implementation of commercial-scale geologic carbon sequestration demonstration projects in the region.

The PCOR Partnership plans to develop two full commercial-scale CO2 sequestration projects over the next several years. Each of the projects will inject 1 million or more tons of CO2 a year into the receiving geologic formations. Each large-volume injection test is designed to demonstrate that the site has the potential to store CO2 emission safely, permanently, and economically for hundreds of years.

Partnership for CO2 Capture (PCO2C) Technology Development

Concerns over the impact of CO2 emissions from combustion sources on global climate change have prompted numerous research and development projects aimed at developing cost-effective technologies for CO2 capture. Currently, no technologies have achieved significant commercial demonstration for the capture of CO2 from large combustion point sources such as a coal-fired power plant.

PCO2C is conducting a pilot-scale demonstration to test selected CO2 separation and capture technologies for fossil fuel- and biomass-fired systems. The project is aimed at providing project sponsors with key technical and economic information that can be used to examine the feasibility of technologies as a function of fuel type and system configuration.

Project Goals

The overall goal of the PCO2C Program is to identify and help commercialize a range of CO2 capture technology systems that can be integrated into the electric utility fleet to meet environmental emission constraints and the requirements of CO2 sequestration and create tools for managing CO2 capture decisions through pilot-scale and systems engineering analyses. Drawing upon results and experience gained through the program, PCO2C intends to continue collaboration between industry partners by focusing on the following:
  • Through pilot-scale demonstrations, find and evaluate promising precombustion and postcombustion CO2 capture technologies.
  • Evaluate CO2 pretreatment technologies that can enhance the cost and performance of CO2 capture systems.
  • Continue the creation of systems engineering-based models with pilot-scale data and evaluations.
  • Utilize the information gathered through modeling and pilot-scale work to create economic-based decision tools that can aid owners and operators of CO2 emission sources in capture-based strategies.

Through this collaboration, promising advancements have been brought to the demonstration scale.

Useful Links

Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership

Partnership for CO2 Capture (PCO2C) Technology Development