AAPG ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA
Clean Coal Technology Development and Its Impact on the Energy Industry in the Southeastern United States
(1) Geological Survey of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Clean coal technology development constitutes a diversity of efforts to increase the efficiency of electricity generation while reducing environmental impact. Early efforts focused on reducing the output of particulates, SOx, and NOx into the atmosphere and were successful at improving air quality during major industrial expansion. Where these technologies are being applied in developing nations, the improvement of air quality is immediate and obvious. Current efforts in the United States are focused on greenhouse gas mitigation and the development of carbon capture and storage technologies. Carbon capture technology can provide abundant CO2 suitable for enhanced oil and gas recovery and thus creates potential for a new synergy between electricity generation and petroleum production.
In the southeastern United States, clean coal technology development includes the design and construction of a 25-Mw CO2 capture facility that can be integrated into pulverized coal plants and a coal gasification plant with pre-combustion capture. Testing of geologic carbon storage in mature oil reservoirs, coal, and saline formations has verified the injectivity and capacity of the major carbon sinks and has been instrumental in developing and implementing reservoir monitoring technology. New exploratory wells are being drilled at power plants, and ongoing field tests are focused on large-scale injection of carbon dioxide into mature oil reservoirs and saline formations. Results to date indicate that CO2 injection can increase oil recovery in candidate fields by about 15% of original oil in place and can increase coalbed methane reserves by more than 20%.