Successful commercial-scale carbon capture project could be a global model

A first-of-its kind project on the grounds of ADM’s corn processing plant in central Illinois has successfully captured and stored one million metric tons of carbon from ethanol production. 

The Illinois Basin-Decatur Project funded through the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium utilized 20,000 feet of wells to inject carbon dioxide from ADM’s processing plant 7,200 feet underground over three years.

Principal Investigator for the Project Sallie Greenberg tells Brownfield it is the first project in the world to demonstrate bio energy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) from an industrial source

“We’ve had more than 2,000 visitors from 30 countries visit these projects. The world is seeing what we’ve done here and looking to expand and utilize it for our ability to mitigate climate change.”

The Illinois State Geological Survey at the University of Illinois designed, implemented, and monitors the project to ensure storage safety over time.

“One of the key objectives of the project was not only to store the carbon dioxide safely, but also be able to monitor it and ensure no carbon dioxide leaves the reservoir where it is stored in the subsurface.”

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium was formed by the Department of Energy to implement the Illinois Basin project starting in December 2007. The project finished up in April 2021.

ADM and the US Department of Energy are in the middle of a second project that will run through 2022. The two projects combined have stored over 3 million tons of carbon so far.

Interview with Sallie Greenberg

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