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Decatur Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project

Company/Alliance: Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) Led by Illinois State Geological Survey, Archer Daniels Midland, Schlumberger Carbon Services and Richland Community College

Location: Decatur, Illinois, USA

Start Date: November 26, 2011

End Date: November 2014

Size: 1'000 tons/day (1Mt total over 3 year period)

Transportation: 1.9 km pipeline

CO2 Source: Ethanol plant (capture using Alstom’s amine process)

Storage: Sequestration in Mount Simon Sandstone

Scale Up: Ilinois Industrial Carbon Capture Sequestration Project (IL-CCS) 1Mt/Yr project at Decatur site


Total cost $208 million. DOE share $141.5 million (68%).

The project is to test the storage potential of the Mount Simon Sandstone and the integrity of the overlying sealant rocks.
Phase 1: DOE awarded $66.7 million of the $84.3 million needed for the project. The DOE announced on June 2010 that Decatur was one of 3 projects to receive up to $612 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - matched by $368 million in private funding - to demonstrate large-scale carbon capture and storage from industrial sources.


Decatur was initially selected in October 2009 for the DOE Phase 1 research and development grants. Following successful completion of the Phase 1 activities, it was identified as one of the most promising industrial CCS projects through a competitive process and entered into Phase 2 with additional funding to begin design, construction, and operation.
Phase 1 timing: Drilling began in February 2009 and a successful injection with a rate of 1000 tons per day was achieved in September 2009. 3D seismic surveys of the injection zone were completed in March 2010 in preparation for Phase 2.

Construction activities began at Decatur on August 26, 2011 with injection commencing in November 2011. As of April 2012, the project has successfully stored over 110,000 tons of CO2. In September 2012, the DOE marked 2 major milestones for the Decatur CCS project: The construction on the project’s storage facility, as well as the public opening of the National Sequestration Education Center. In November 2012 Decatur project completed its first year of CO2 injection operations with a total of 317,000 tons having been buried at a rate of 1,100 tons/day.

The target formation, the Mount Simon Sandstone, was selected as the optimum saline sink because of its widespread nature and immediately overlying Eau Claire shale seal. The Mount Simon Sandstone also underlies one of the largest concentrations of coal fired power plants in the world. This makes the Mount Simon Sandstone one of the most significant carbon storage resources in the United States.

Archer Daniels Midland (June 2010) was selected to receive an additional $99 million in federal aid for a second carbon sequestration project.

In May 2013 two monitoring wells in the the Mount Simon sandstone formation have been drilled, cemented and cased.

The second part of the project is the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (IL-CCS) The IL-CCS project has received a draft Class VI UIC permit in April 2014, and approved the full Class VI well in September 2014. Please see the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage project web page for more information.


Drilling began 2009 with a test injection of 1000 tons successfully completed in 2009

Construction began in August 2011

Injection began in November 2011


After three years of CO2 injection, the Mount Simon Sandstone was discovered to accept CO2 much more easily than was originally expected. This resulted in a quicker detection at the verification well. The resulting CO2 plume was much thinner than anticipated and it was not detected by a 3D vertical seismic profile until April 2013. The vertical migration of the CO2 plume was limited by the reservoir permeability stratification and as of September 2015, there was no CO2 leakage or adverse impacts detected. The second project (IL-CCS) nearby will enable additional monitoring of the CO2 plumes.

Project Link: Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium Project website

Technical Papers:

Kavan J.O, Hickman S.H, McGarr A.F and Ellsworth W.L. Surface Monitoring of Microseismicity at the Decatur, Illinois, CO 2 Sequestration Demonstration Site. Seismological Research Letters Volume 86, Number 4 July/August 2015 <Link to PDF>

Gollakota, S and S McDonald, Commercial-scale CCS Project in Decatur, Illinois – Construction Status and Operational Plans for Demonstration, Energy Procedia, Vol 63, pp 5986-5993, (2014) <Link to PDF>

Streibel, M, R J Finley, S Martens, S Greenberg, F Möller, A Liebscher, From Pilot to Demo Scale – Comparing Ketzin results with the Illinois Basin-decatur Project, Energy Procedia, Vol 63, pp 6323-6334, (2014) <Link to PDF>


Other Sources and Press Releases:

DOE Project Captures, Stores 1 Million Metric Tons of Carbon (January 2015)
ADM carbon capture nears initial goal; second permit sought (November 2014)
GHGT-12 paper: Commercial-Scale CCS Project in Decatur, Illinois – Construction Status and Operational Plans for Demonstration (October 2014)
U.S. EPA Approves Carbon Sequestration Permit in Decatur, Illinois (September 2014)
Ethanol plant gets key EPA permit for carbon sequestration (April 2014)
Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Research, Development, and Demonstration at the U.S. Department of Energy (June 2013)
Carbon Storage Partner Completes First Year of CO2 Injection Operations in Illinois (November 2012)
Energy Department Announces Major Milestones for Decatur, Ill. Clean Coal Project (September 2012)
Illinois CO2 injection test commences (November 2011)
Illinois CCS demonstration begins construction (August 2011)
DOE's ICCS Project Fact Sheet 2011 [PDF]
ADM receives $99 million in federal aid for second CCS project (June 2010)
ADM CCS project takes another step forward (April 2010)
ADM Website
ADM, MGSC and ISGS Announce Carbon Sequestration Project (January 2008)
DOE awards $66.7 Million for Illinois CCS (December 2007)