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Success Marks CO2 Injection into Mt. Simon

Posted on Oct 22, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH., 22 October, 2009—The most recent demonstration of injecting carbon dioxide deep underground provides yet another step in proving that this technology (known as carbon capture and sequestration) can be an answer to the challenge of curbing greenhouses gases that are vented into Earth’s atmosphere.

The injection of 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the ground at Duke’s East Bend power station near the town of Rabbit Hash, KY was completed in September.  Predictions of the geological structure and injectivity potential at the site proved to be largely consistent with field observations from drilling and injection rates.  The predictions were made by geologists from the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP), led by Battelle, the world’s largest independent R&D organization.  The MRCSP is one of seven partnerships in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Program, managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Injection rates of about 45 metric tons per hour of CO2 (equivalent to over 1,000 metric tons per day) were sustained in the short-term test.  These rates, limited by the capacity of the injection equipment at the site, indicate good injectivity into this segment of the Mount Simon Sandstone, a geologic deep saline formation that’s widespread under much of the Midwestern United States.  The Mt. Simon Sandstone is believed to have large storage potential.

This DOE Phase II validation phase demonstration was the first-ever such injection into the Mt. Simon.  When incorporated into the MRCSP’s regional maps and computer simulations, the test results will add much to the understanding of the CO2 storage potential in the Mt. Simon.

“This test bodes well for the potential of long-term carbon dioxide storage in the Mt. Simon reservoir in this area,” said Chuck McConnell, Battelle’s Vice President of Carbon Management.  “We predicted good things and good things happened."

One way to combat global climate change is to limit greenhouse gas (such as CO2) emissions from such large-scale emitters as coal burning power plants.  Carbon capture and sequestration seeks to capture CO2 as it goes up smokestacks, pressurize it then inject it deep beneath the ground (in this case, 3,230 to 3,530 feet), far below drinking water levels and under non-porous rock that will trap the gas.

This recently completed test in Kentucky follows the footsteps of two other MRCSP injection tests that have taken place in the region—the Appalachian Basin Test at the R.E. Burger Power Plant in Shadyside, OH and the Michigan Basin test near Gaylord, MI, where over 60,000 tons of CO2 have been safely injected into a deep saline formation called the Bass Islands Dolomite. 

Duke, one of the 30-plus members of the MRCSP, volunteered its East Bend station as the test site and assisted the MRCSP in conducting the demonstration, which was completed in less than four months from start of drilling operations.

About Battelle

As the world’s largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses:  Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. 

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories for which Battelle has a significant management role on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Media Contacts

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or


Media Contacts

Katy Delaney
Director, Media Relations
Office: 1.614.424.7208

T.R. Massey

Senior Media Specialist
Office: 1.614.424.5544