Looking to the ‘Big Sky' for greenhouse gas answers
Researchers evaluating carbon management alternatives are setting their sights on the wide-open spaces of Montana and its neighboring states.
As part of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership, scientists from DOE's national labs, industry and academia are focusing on the region as they explore solutions to stabilize atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide without creating major impacts on energy infrastructures. And the DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) has been asked to join this world-class collaboration by partnership leader Montana State University (MSU).
The partnership is examining options to sequester and manage greenhouse gases in plants and geologic features. They'll accomplish this by cataloging carbon sources and promising storage sites in Idaho , Montana , South Dakota – and contiguous areas in North Dakota and Wyoming . The partners are also researching regulatory compliance and public perception issues to help develop project implementation plans for the most promising carbon mitigation opportunities in the region.
DOE awarded the partnership a $1.6 million grant from the National Energy Technology Laboratory's Carbon Sequestration Program. After initiating the partnership MSU also coordinated efforts to raise an additional $400,000 of required matching funds from collaborators.
The INEEL's role includes researching mineralization trapping and supplying geologic and geospatial data management expertise. One of the INEEL's managing partners, the Inland Northwest Research Alliance (of which MSU is a member), conducts hydrodynamic and solubility trapping research through Boise State University and the University of Idaho.
The South Dakota School of Mines and Texas A&M University provide soil carbon measurement and monitoring techniques for plant-based sequestration and rangeland management, while Los Alamos National Laboratory is evaluating advanced sequestration concepts.The Nez Perce Tribe and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes provide links to forestry carbon projects, and private company EnTech Strategies will gather public comments regarding the government's future carbon sequestration strategies.
Submitted by DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory
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