Co2 Emission & Carbon Capture and Storage in United States

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Carbon capture and storage in United States

Globally, power generation emits nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 per year. The U.S., with over 8,000 power plants out of the more than 50,000 worldwide, accounts for about 25 percent of that total or 2.8 billion tons. CARMA (Carbon Monitoring for Action – online database compiled by Centre for Global Development) shows that the U.S.’s biggest CO2 emitter is Southern Co. with annual emissions of 172 million tons, followed by American Electric Power Company Inc., Duke Energy Corp., and AES Corp. The United States has a long-standing reliance on huge reserves of domestic coal for electric power generation. Coal-fired power plants are reliable, affordable, and currently supply about 50 percent of the Nation’s electricity generation.

EIA estimates that almost 95 percent of the coal-based CO2 emissions projected to be released from today through 2030 will originate from existing coal-based power plants. On a mass basis, CO2 is the 19th largest commodity chemical in the United States.

Annually, the 12 biggest CO2 polluting power plants in the United States are:

Scherer plant, Juliet, GA
25.3 MT
Miller plant, Quinton, AL
20.6 MT
Bowen plant, Cartersville, GA
20.5 MT
Gibson plant, Owensville, IN
20.4 MT
W.A. Parish plant, Thompsons, TX
20 MT
Navajo plant, Page, AZ
19.9 MT
Martin Lake plant, Tatum, TX
19.8 MT
Cumberland plant, Cumberland City, TN
19.6 MT
Gavin plant, Cheshire, OH
18.7 MT
Sherburne County plant, Becker, MN
17.9 MT
Bruce Mansfield plant, Shipping port, PA
17.4 MT
Rockport plant, Rockport, IN
16.6 MT

All are coal-fired power plants:

Low-carbon power comes mostly from nuclear and hydro plants, which do not emit CO2, but do pose other potential environmental problems. The largest U.S. power plant to win a green rating for nearly zero CO2 emissions is the Palo Verde nuclear plant near Phoenix, Arizona; it produces about 26 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity per year. Other large plants that are emitting zero CO2 but produce substantial electricity are:

The South Texas plant in Wadsworth, TX
20.9 million MWh
The Limerick plant in Pottstown, PA
20.8 million MWh
The Vogtle plant in Wanyesboro, GA
20.1 million MWh
The Byron plant in Byron, IL
20 million MWh
The Braidwood plant in Braceville, IL
19.8 million MWh

All are nuclear power plants:

According to CARMA data, the Ohio River Valley, the southeastern U.S. and Texas are the dirtiest regions in terms of CO2 emissions. The least dirty CO2 region is the West Coast, where much of the electric power is generated by nuclear and hydroelectric plants.

The state with the greatest CO2 emissions from electricity generation is Texas (290 million tons), followed by Florida (157 million tons), Indiana (137 million tons), Pennsylvania (136 million tons), Ohio (133 million tons), Illinois (113 million tons), Kentucky (98 million tons), Georgia (92 million tons), Michigan (91 million tons) and Alabama (91 million tons).

The District of Columbia has the lowest power-related emissions (113,000 tons), followed by Vermont (437,000 tons), Idaho (1 million tons), Rhode Island (2.6 million tons); South Dakota (4.7 million tons); and Alaska (6 million tons).

At the county level, Walker County in Alabama, where power plants produce over 28 million tons of CO2 each year, heads the list of CO2 emitters. Grundy County in Illinois, with two large nuclear plants, and Taylor County in Texas, which relies almost exclusively on renewable resources, have nearly zero CO2 emissions.

Residents of Austin, Texas, including faculty and students of the University of Texas at Austin, have the highest-emitting power facility of any university town in the country, emitting some 400,000 tons a year.

Top-50 Highest CO2-Emitting Power Plants in the United States:

(Format: Plant City State Tons of CO2)

SCHERER  Juliette Georgia 25,300,000 HARRISON Haywood West Virginia 14,200,000
MILLER Quinton Alabama 20,600,000 WH SAMMIS Stratton Ohio 13,800,000
BOWEN Cartersville Georgia 20,500,000 BELEWS CREEK Belews Creek North Carolina 13,600,000
GIBSON Owensville Indiana 20,400,000 BALDWIN Baldwin Illinois 13,600,000
WA PARISH Thompsons Texas 20,000,000 JM STUART Aberdeen Ohio 13,400,000
NAVAJO Page Arizona 19,900,000 LIMESTONE Jewett Texas 13,300,000
MARTIN LAKE Tatum Texas 19,800,000 SAN JUAN Waterflow New Mexico 13,000,000
CUMBERLAND Tennessee 19,600,000 HOMER CITY Homer City Pennsylvania 12,800,000
GAVIN Cheshire Ohio 18,700,000 BARRY Bucks Alabama 12,800,000
SHERBURNE  Becker Minnesota 17,900,000 MOUNT STORM Mount Storm West Virginia 12,700,000
BRUCE Shippingport Pennsylvania 17,400,000 MARSHALL Terrell North Carolina 12,600,000
ROCKPORT Rockport Indiana 16,600,000 PETERSBURG Petersburg Indiana 12,500,000
JIM BRIDGER Point Of Rocks 16,500,000 WHITE BLUFF Redfield Arkansas 12,400,000
LABADIE Labadie Missouri 16,400,000 COLSTRIP 3&4 Colstrip Montana 12,300,000
MONTICELLO Pleasant Texas 16,300,000 GHENT Ghent Kentucky 12,200,000
JEFFREY Saint Marys Kansas 16,300,000 EC GASTON Wilsonville Alabama 12,200,000
INTERMOUNTAIN Delta Utah 16,100,000 INDEPENDENCE Newark Arkansas 12,200,000
MONROE Monroe Michigan 15,900,000 CENTRALIA Centralia Washington 12,100,000
JOHN E AMOS  Albans Virginia 15,300,000 CONEMAUGH New Florence Pennsylvania 12,100,000
ROXBORO Roxboro North Carolina 15,100,000 FAYETTE La Grange Texas 12,000,000
CRYSTAL RIVER Crystal River Florida 15,100,000 LA CYGNE Lacygne Kansas 11,900,000
CROSSCross South Carolina 15,000,000 WELSH Pittsburg Texas 11,900,000
FOURCORNERS New Mexico 14,800,000 WANSLEY Roopville Georgia 11,900,000
PARADISEDrakesboroKentucky 14,500,000 MANATEE Parrish Florida 11,700,000
BIGCAJUN TWO Ventress Louisiana 14,300,000 KEYSTONE Shelocta Pennsylvani 11,500,000 


Power sector Co2 emissions by state:

(Format: State Tons of CO2)

West Virginia
North Carolina
New York
South Carolina
North Dakota
New Mexico
New Jersey
New Hampshire
South Dakota
Rhode Island
District of Columbia

Top-50 Highest CO2-Emitting Power Sectors by U.S. County:

(Format: County State Tons of CO2)


Walker Alabama
Emery Utah
San Juan New Mexico
Spencer Indiana
Harris Texas
Sweetwater Wyoming
Gallia Ohio
Los Angeles California
Monroe Georgia
Franklin Missouri
Indiana Pennsylvania
Titus Texas
Jefferson Ohio
Pottawatomie Kansas
Kern California
Millard Utah
Berkeley South Carolina
Apache Arizona
Rusk Texas
Will Illinois
Fort Bend Texas
Muhlenberg Kentucky
Citrus Florida
Westmoreland Pennsylvania
Person North Carolina
Clermont Ohio
Bartow Georgia
Hillsborough Florida
Gibson Indiana
Lewis Washington
Coconino Arizona
Bexar Texas
Mercer North Dakota
Clark Nevada
Stewart Tennessee
Pointe Coupee Louisiana
Saint Clair Michigan
Harrison West Virginia
Beaver Pennsylvania
Pike Indiana
Monroe Michigan
Mobile Alabama
Sherburne Minnesota
Forsyth North Carolina
Duval Florida
Randolph Illinois
Rosebud Montana
Grant West Virginia
Kanawha West Virginia 


Jefferson Arkansas

DOE/NETL Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage RD&D Roadmap:


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Coal Research program is focused on integrated development of CCS technologies to sequester Co2 from coal – based power plants. The program is gathering the data, building the knowledge base, and developing the advanced technology platforms needed to prove that CCS can be a viable climate change mitigation strategy,

thus ensuring that coal, a secure and affordable energy resource, remains available to power a sustainable economy.


The DOE/FE’s Clean Coal Research Program is implemented by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Program contributions include the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of clean coal technologies that are highly efficient, achieve near-zero emissions (including carbon), and are commercially deployable in a competitive energy market.


One of President Obama’s objectives is to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. In May 2009, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced DOE’s priorities to drive the President’s agenda, including positioning the United States to lead on climate change policy, technology, and science. Further, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) provides more than $3 billion for fossil energy research to develop and demonstrate CCS technology in partnership with industry, and to transition this technology to industry for deployment and commercialization. Through fossil energy-related provisions in the Recovery Act and annual appropriations, the development of CCS is being pursued to meet future energy needs. Specific programs associated with the application of Recovery Act funding include: expansion of Round 3 of the Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI); development of advanced technology for large-scale CCS from industrial sources; characterization of geologic sequestration sites; implementation of geologic sequestration training and research; acceleration of the deployment of advanced coal gasification-based power production technologies linked with CCS; a CCS demonstration using oxy-combustion technology for CO2 capture under the FutureGen 2.0 Initiative; and acceleration of CCS technology development through the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative.


The DOE Clean Coal Research Program is a major component of the global activities needed to widely deploy coal power plants with cost-effective CCS.


United States has a vast potential of geologic storage options. The primary objective of DOE research in this area is to develop technologies to cost-effectively store CO2 in geologic formations and monitor its movement and behavior while showing its permanence and safe storage. This involves developing an improved understanding of CO2 hydrologic flow, trapping mechanisms, geomechanical impacts, and geochemical reactions within the formation, as well as developing and testing simulation models and other tools. Experience gained from field tests will facilitate the development of a series of CCS-related best practice manuals (BPMs) to ensure that CO2 storage is secure and environmentally acceptable and does not impair the geologic integrity of underground formations. To achieve its geologic storage objectives, DOE is engaged in numerous research activities in a variety of potential CO2 storage sites with different geologic classes of reservoir depending on their depositional environments. There are 11 storage formation classes and 2 seal classes which need to be adequately tested.


Simulation and risk assessment of CO2 storage is also an important component of DOE’s CCS Core RD&D effort. Existing numerical models that simulate geochemical, geomechanical, and flow are limited by the scale and coupled effects on storage of CO2 in deep geologic formations. A major focus of the program is on the integrated development of CCS technologies to affordably and efficiently sequester CO2 from coal-based power plants.


The program is addressing the key technology challenges that confront the wide-scale deployment of CCS through research on cost-effective capture technologies; MVA technologies to ensure permanent storage; permitting issues; liability issues; public outreach; and infrastructure needs. In addition to development of CCS technologies, program activities are also focused on high-priority CCS enabling technologies, such as advanced IGCC, advanced hydrogen turbines, fuels conversion, and fuel cells. These research areas provide the supporting technology base for all CCS development.


DOE’s CCS RD&D effort is pursuing a portfolio of technologies along multiple technology paths to mitigate the risks inherent to new technology research efforts. The CCS effort encompasses RD&D across a wide scale, integrating advances and lessons learned from fundamental research, technology development, and commercial-scale demonstration. The success of this effort will enable cost-effective implementation of CCS technologies throughout the power generation sector.


DOE/NETL estimates that using today’s commercially available CCS technologies would add around 80 percent to the cost of electricity for a new PC plant, and around 35 percent to the cost of electricity for a new advanced gasification-based plant. The CCS RD&D effort is aggressively pursuing developments to reduce these costs to a less than 30 percent increase in the cost of electricity for PC power plants and a less than 10 percent increase in the cost of electricity for new gasification-based power plants. To accomplish these goals, DOE/NETL has adopted a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to its CCS RD&D effort.


Currently, the DOE/NETL Coal Research Program comprises 10 distinct program areas: Innovations for Existing Plants (IEP), Advanced IGCC, Advanced Turbines, Carbon Sequestration (CS), Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Fuel Cells, Fuels, Advanced Research (AR), CCPI, FutureGen, and ICCS. Each program area has specific targets that contribute to DOE’s CCS RD&D effort, either through direct capture and storage of GHGs or through significant gains in power plant efficiency.


CCS projects in United States:


In the United States, four different synthetic fuel projects are moving forward which have publicly announced plans to incorporate carbon capture and storage.


American Clean Coal Fuels, in their Illinois Clean Fuels project, is developing a 30,000 barrel per day biomass and coal to liquids project in Oakland, Illinois, which will market the CO2 created at the plant for enhanced oil recovery applications. Baard Energy, in their Ohio River Clean Fuels project, are developing a 53,000 BPD coal and biomass to liquids project, which has announced plans to market the plant’s CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. Rentech is developing a 29,600 barrel per day coal and biomass to liquids plant in Natchez, Mississippi which will market the plant’s CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. The first phase of the project is expected in 2011. DKRW is developing a 15,000-20,000 Barrel Per Day coal to liquids plant in Medicine Bow Wyoming, which will market it plant’s CO2 for enhanced oil recovery. The project is expected to begin operation in 2013.


Since the 1970s, pipelines have been used to transport carbon dioxide in the United States for enhanced oil recovery operations and there are more than 6,000 kilometres of pipelines transporting carbon dioxide for such processes in the United States and Canada.


The Obama administration has requested $300 million in 2011 for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), the newest part of the Department of Energy (DOE). In 2009 the agency received $400 million in stimulus funds.

In November 2009 a joint U.S. and Chinese government media release stated that “the two sides strongly welcomed work in both countries to promote 21st century coal technologies. They agreed to promote cooperation on large-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) demonstration projects and to begin work immediately on the development, deployment, diffusion, and transfer of CCS technology.

SCS Energy (SCS) of Concord, Mass. has proposed constructing PurGen One, a 750-megawatt (MW) IGCC / coal-to-fertilizer plant on a contaminated industrial site on the Arthur Kill waterway in Linden, N.J. The plant would gasify coal and burn the gas to generate electricity when power prices are high, or make fertilizer when power prices are low. SCS plans to use carbon capture and sequestration technology to pump 90% of the carbon dioxide emitted from the plant through a 100-mile-long pipeline to a point 70 miles offshore from Atlantic City, N.J., where it will be pumped into a sandstone formation 1.5 miles beneath the floor of the ocean. SCS Energy hopes the coal plant, with carbon sequestration, will be fully operational by 2016.


9 Responses to “Co2 Emission & Carbon Capture and Storage in United States”

  1. Arj Barkera

    Deficit reduction remains the central policy issue, and the much-delayed FY2011 budget cut US federal spending for the climate economy by USD5.6bn, with modal shift losing $US2.9 billion and the EPA $US1.6 billion affecting its energy/GHG monitoring programmes. Attention now shifts to the FY2012 budget which starts on 1 October, with deep divisions in Congress keeping the question open through the summer. We expect further cuts to climate spending, although oil subsidies may well be reduced also. Against this backdrop, the President’s proposals for a Clean Electricity Standard will take a back-seat this year.

  2. Duncan Kenneth

    Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions account for 98 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. The vast majority of carbon dioxide emissions come from fossil fuel combustion, with smaller amounts from the nonfuel use of energy inputs, and the total adjusted for emissions from U.S. Territories and international bunker fuels. Other sources include emissions from industrial processes, such as cement and limestone production.
    U.S Energy related Co2 emissions in 2008,
    Residential – 1,220 Million Metric Tons
    Commercial – 1,075 Million Metric Tons
    Industrial – 1,589 Million Metric Tons
    Transportation – 1,930 Million Metric Tons
    The United States emits about 1.9 billion metric tons of CO2 annually from coal-fired power plants—33 percent of total energy-related CO2 emissions and 81 percent of CO2 emissions from the U.S. electric power sector. In the United States, about 48 MMT of CO2 per year is injected into oil and gas fields for EOR.7 CO2 also may be pumped into oil and gas reservoirs strictly for storage: as a result of EOR operations, about 9 MMT of CO2 is stored per year.8 Storage capacity for CO2 in depleted oil and gas fields in the United States and Canada currently is estimated at 138 billion metric tons.9 Worldwide, CO2 storage capacity in EOR projects and other depleted oil and gas fields is estimated at 675 to 1,200 billion metric tons.
    The United States has an estimated combined storage capacity of 3,300 to 12,600 billion metric tons in saline formations. Coal seam sequestration has an estimated storage capacity of 157 to 178 billion metric tons of capacity in the United States.
    Residential sector carbon dioxide emissions grew by an average of 1.3 percent per year. Commercial sector electricity-related emissions increased by an average of 2.4 percent per year. In 2008, industrial carbon dioxide emissions fell by 4.0 percent from their 2007 level and were 5.9 percent (100.4 MMT) below their 1990 level. Transportation sector carbon dioxide emissions in 2008 were 95.6 MMT lower than in 2007. Carbon dioxide emissions from electric power generation declined by 2.1 percent in 2008.

  3. Hughes

    The Clean Coal Power Initiative is providing government co-financing for new coal technologies that can help utilities cut sulfur, nitrogen and mercury pollutants from power plants. Also, some of the early projects are showing ways to reduce greenhouse emissions by boosting the efficiency by which coal plants convert coal to electricity or other energy forms.

    In January of 2003, eight projects were selected under the first round CCPI solicitation, of which two were withdrawn. Of the remaining six projects supported by the first round of the CCPI, one was discontinued before award, two were discontinued during project development, and three have been completed.

    In October of 2004, four projects were selected from the second round CCPI solicitation. One project has since been withdrawn. Of the remaining three projects, two are under development and one has been completed. The two projects under development will demonstrate advanced IGCC technology. One of these projects (Southern/Kemper County) has begun construction.

    A third round CCPI solicitation is underway and is focused on developing projects that utilize carbon sequestration technologies and/or beneficial reuse of carbon dioxide. Due to an additional $800 million of funding added to the CCPI Program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), Round 3 was conducted through two separate solicitations.

    Five projects were ultimately selected in Round III

  4. Richard

    A few weeks after lifting a moratorium
    on building new nuclear power plants in Minnesota, state legislators moved
    forward a bill to lift a moratorium on the construction of new coal-fired

    power plants.
    Is Minnesota moving backward. CAnt they go for more renewable energy projects ?

  5. Duncan Kenneth

    Carbon Capture and Sequestration – Online Course in USA
    online course which is ideal for geologists, researchers, operators, landmen, engineers, and students who want to learn about carbon capture and sequestration. This course covers the fundamental concepts involved in carbon capture and sequestration, and explains the geological conditions required for successful carbon storage. It profiles extraction, transportation, injection, and monitoring of CO2. This course is offered at the beginning of every month. You may sign up for it at any time, and your course will begin the first day of the upcoming month. This course is designed to be equivalent to a 3 credit-hour graduate-level seminar. It is a 4-week online course which consists of 4 one-week units that involve readings, multimedia, guiding questions, and assignments for you to do and to email to your instructor. You will receive feedback from your instructor, and upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a certificate.
    Unit I: Carbon Capture Fundamentals
    Unit II: Geological Characteristics of Suitable Formations
    Unit III: Injection and Monitoring
    Unit IV: Case Studies
    Key Topics of online course:
    Carbon dioxide sources, Carbon capture techniques, CCS systems, Managing hazardous materials, Transporting CO2, Considerations / factors in selecting sites and formations, Large-scale power plant CCS projects, Storage capacity, Costs: energy, infrastructure, transportation, monitoring and Relative Benefits.

  6. George

    Federal government will have to play a role to meet Obama’s target and move away from cheap and dirty coal. The key task for the Federal government is to articulate a goal that motivates further reform at the state level. Coal states may want to protect their in-state production by mandating costly emissions-capturing technology, as many did in the early 1990s by requiring utilities to meet new Clean Air Act limits with sulfur scrubbers, thus allowing the continued combustion of high-sulfur in-state coal. Other states that prioritize low electricity prices may opt for a combination of lower cost options, such as natural gas and wind, along with some dirty coal. States that currently generate a relatively small percentage of their electricity from coal may choose to abandon the fuel entirely.

  7. Michael John

    President Obama set a goal of generating 80 percent of US electricity from “clean energy sources” by 2035. According to Obama, there are only two ways to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from electricity generation: either reduce the amount of electricity generated by coal combustion or capture and sequester the CO2 emitted by coal-fired plants.
    Coal combustion for electricity generation is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Within the electricity sector, coal is responsible for more than 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. While the percentage of all U.S. electricity that is generated by coal has decreased over the past 15 years, the total amount of coal combusted by the electricity industry has actually increased by 4 percent from 1996 to 2009, peaking at a 16 percent increase as compared to 1996 in 2007.

  8. David

    “Clean coal – Currently, the electricity sector of the United States is responsible for about 41 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions, and half of the sector’s production comes from coal-fired power plants. … It has been estimated that commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration power stations cannot be commercially viable and widely adopted before 2020 or 2025.”


  1. Latest Clean Coal Technologies,Coal power plant efficiency,clean coal technologies,coal electricity,coal power plants,dry sorbent injection news – Texas: Leading the Nation in Clean Coal Power | Balanced Energy …

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