North-Central Section–40th Annual Meeting (20–21 April 2006)
Paper No. 9-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-9:20 AM

THE POTENTIAL FOR CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN COAL BEDS IN THE NORTHERN AND PARTS OF THE CENTRAL APPALACHIAN BASIN

SLUCHER, Ernie R.1, GREB, Stephen F.2, VENTERIS, Erik R.1, BREZINSKI, David K.3, MARKOWSI, A.K.4, BLAKE, Bascombe M. Jr5, and FEDORKO, Nick III6, (1) Ohio Division of Geological Survey, 2045 Morse Rd, Bldg. C-1, Columbus, OH 43229-6693, ernie.slucher@dnr.state.oh.us, (2) Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky, 228 Mining and Mineral Resources Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0107, greb@uky.edu, (3) Maryland Geol Survey, 2300 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, (4) Pennsylvania Geological Survey, (5) West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, 1 Mont Chateau Road, Morgantown, WV 26507-0879, (6) Coal Program, West Virginia Geol and Economic Survey, Mont Chateau Research Center, P.O. Box 879, Morgantown, WV 26507-0879

The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP), one of seven regional CO2. sequestration partnerships funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is investigating the potential for future carbon capture, storage, and sequestration. One potential option being studied is the sequestration of CO2. into “unmineable” coal beds in eastern Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and northern West Virginia. It is believed the CO2. would adsorb onto the coal while displacing naturally occurring methane, which in turn, could be recovered as a fuel. Although there is currently only limited production of coalbed methane in the MRCSP part of the Appalachian basin, this sequestration method could provide an economic incentive for offsetting some of the associated costs of sequestration. The criteria used to assess the sequestration potential of coal beds in the MRCSP region include determining the cumulative thickness of coal beds at least 1 foot thick and more than 500 feet below drainage. Data were from deep coal exploration tests, and oil and gas exploration density logs. The 500-foot limit is an estimate of the maximum depth of surface fracturing based on mining regulations. Results indicate large areas with more than 30 ft of cumulative coal thickness along the northern Appalachian basin axis in southern Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio, and northern West Virginia that are estimated to have a storage potential of 0.2 to 0.3 gigatonnes of CO2.

Although there is significant potential in the basin, how much of this resource is truly “unmineable” and available for future storage is problematic and varies with geologic, economic, environmental, regulatory, and political considerations. As energy costs increase, new technology and increasing coal demand may significantly change the definition of “unmineable” in the future.

North-Central Section–40th Annual Meeting (20–21 April 2006)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 9
Carbon Dioxide Sequestration: From the Atmosphere to Subsurface and All Points in between: Terrestrial, Geologic, and Applications
Student Center, University of Akron: Room 316
8:40 AM-10:00 AM, Thursday, 20 April 2006

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 4, p. 14

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