New funding of $1.3 million will help the University of Utah determine the suitability of building carbon capture and storage sites near the Hunter and Huntington power plants.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy said the Utah project is among 16 carbon storage projects across the nation selected to receive more than $44 million for cost-shared research and development.
The initiative is designed to reduce pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels, including the development of commercial-scale geologic storage sites for carbon dioxide emissions. A commercial-scale site would be able to store in excess of 50 million tons of pollutants from industrial sources, which are estimated to comprise 21 percent of U.S. emissions.
University of Utah researchers were selected to take part in the first phase of the initiative, which involves a coordinated effort to conduct a “pre-feasibility” study encompassing regulatory and technical requirements of such a site.
Carbon capture and storage is one way to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by capturing the emissions and storing them underground.
The U. project is led by Brian McPherson, a professor in the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The group will do an analysis of subbasin suitability near the 895-megawatt Huntington Power Plant and the 1,320 megawatt Hunter Power Plant.