Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:20 AM


BARNES, David A., Geosciences, Western Michigan University, 1903 West Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008 and FROESE, Robert E., Forestry Resources and Environmental Sciences, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Dr, Houghton, MI 49931,

This paper presents the results of a combined biomass combustion (BC) and geological carbon sequestration (GCS) feasibility study in Northern Lower Michigan, USA related to a proposed solid fuel-fired 600 MW electric power plant, the Wolverine Clean Energy Venture (WCEV), near Rogers City, MI, USA. The biomass feedstock resource assessment, which focused on low intensity, high diversity forest and agriculture in the proposed plant bioshed (<120 Km), has the potential to provide sustainable, dry biomass fuel well in excess of the maximum annual co-firing potential of 20% and offset as much as 1Tgy-1 of the estimated annual 5.1Tgy-1 of CO2 emissions (using 100% western coal). CO2/EOR potential in the Northern Niagaran Pinnacle Reef Trend is substantial. To date, seven reef reservoirs have been converted to CO2/EOR floods and three of these fields are sufficiently mature to project recovery efficiency in excess of 40% of primary oil recovery. Using these observations and historic oil production data CO2/EOR potential, in a region adjacent to a proposed CO2 pipeline originating from the plant site, is estimated to be at least 7.2 Mm3 (45 MMB) of incremental oil production. Analysis of produced fluids in the same region indicates 55 Mmt of geological carbon sequestration potential in abandoned oil and gas fields. GCS capacity is estimated at 271 Mmt in two, Paleozoic, saline reservoir targets providing a combined GCS (with abandoned oil and gas field GCS) of 326 Mmt in the pipeline study area. Estimated, combined, GCS in the proposed pipeline fairway alone is in excess of CO2 emissions for a hypothetical 50 year design life of the WCEV project burning 100% coal of 255 Mmt. Realization of biomass co-firing potential at 20% could result in as much as 50MMt offset of CO2 emissions during this 50 year period (although net, life-cycle emissions from BC have not yet been calculated). Carbon capture and sequestration, including beneficial use in CO2/EOR, GCS in abandoned oil and gas fields, and saline reservoir GCS Sequestration at 90% of CO2 emissions from the proposed plant for a 50 year design life could result in the sequestration of 229.5 Mmt of CO2. These considerations support the potential for a net negative emissions profile of up to -24.5 Mmt for a hypothetical 50 year design life of the proposed WCEV project.