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Project: Development of a Carbon Management Geographic Information System (GIS)

Research Team: Holly Javedan and Howard Herzog

Sponsors: US Department of Energy (Office of Fossil Energy), WESTCARB, SECARB

The overall objective of this project is to develop a systems analysis tool to aid in the development and deployment of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies in the United States. Specifically, we are developing a Carbon Management Geographic Information System (GIS) for the US in order to capture, integrate, manipulate and interpret data relevant to CCS. The software platform is the ArcView GIS software suite, a set of desktop PC GIS tools developed by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). Included are data on CO2 sources (e.g., power plants, industrial facilities, natural reservoirs), potential storage reservoirs (e.g., oil and gas reservoirs, deep brine formations, unmineable coal seams, the deep ocean), and the current CO2 infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, production facilities), as well as data on economics, regulations, and political/social considerations. Special computer codes are being developed to perform analyses specific to carbon sequestration systems. Examples of the types of questions the Carbon Management GIS could address include:

  • Where are the best US locations to introduce the first large-scale capture and sequestration projects?

  • What percent of power plant CO2 emissions has cost-effective storage options available? What are they?

  • What are the opportunities and benefits of co-capturing CO2 with criteria-pollutants?

  • What is the split in costs between capture on the one hand and transport and storage on the other?

The GIS is being utilized in two Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships — the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) and the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB). We will be making some of our results available through the Distributed NATional CARBon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB).

Herzog, H., W. Li, H. Zhang, M. Diao, G. Singleton, and M. Bohm, "West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership: Source Sink Characterization and Geographic Information System Based Matching", California Energy Commission, PIER Energy - Related Environmental Research Program, Report no. CEC-500-2007-053, October (2007). <PDF>

Cheng, D.S., "Integration of Distributed and Heterogeneous Information for Public-Private Policy Analyses," M.I.T. Masters Thesis, June (2004). <PDF>

Singh, N., "A Systems Perspective for Assessing Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Opportunities," M.I.T. Masters Thesis, June (2004). <PDF>

Smith, A.M., "Regulatory Issues Controlling Carbon Capture and Storage," M.I.T. Masters Thesis, June (2004). <PDF>