The Southern California Carbon Sequestration Research Consortium (SoCalCarb)is a collaborative research group bringing together scientists and engineers from more than 10 public agencies, private companies, and universities to identify and validate the best regional opportunities for keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere, thereby reducing our anthropogenic impact on the climate.
A DOE grant is responsible for funding Terralog Technologies USA, Inc.’s site characterization project, which has in turn engendered SoCalCarb. This grant is a result of 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
DOE's Fossil Energy program and NETL's Carbon Sequestration Program are helping to develop technologies to capture, separate, and store carbon dioxide (CO2) in order to reduce green-house gas emissions without adversely influencing energy use or hindering economic growth. Carbon sequestration technologies capture and store CO2 that would otherwise reside in the atmosphere for long periods of time.
DOE Project Manager
Environmental Projects Division, National Energy Technology Laboratory
The California Energy Commission has played an important role since 1988 in coordinating state activities addressing climate change and continues to play a major role in the state's efforts. One of the Commission's programs is the Public Interest Energy Research Program (called PIER for short). PIER was developed with a broad mandate to research the environmental effects of energy technology and energy production, delivery, and use in California. The ultimate goal of this program area is to enhance California's overall environmental quality. PIER-funded research about reducing GHG emissions has been organized around the following question: how can California control GHG emissions and increase carbon sequestration? In general, this question has led to two primary short-term research projects such as the development of cost curves for abating non-CO2 gases or increasing carbon sequestration. Other work has helped develop new and better methods for identifying GHG reduction opportunities and increasing their effectiveness. Together, work from this area will better inform the state’s GHG reduction actions.
The City of Los Angeles and Terralog in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and with research support from the DOE and the National Science Foundation has embarked upon an innovative technology to inject biosolids deep below the geological subsurface at its Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant (TIWRP). The Terminal Island Renewable Energy Project (TIRE), the first of its kind in the nation has been in operation for over two-years. TIRE, which is being demonstrated under a U.S. EPA five-year permit, places biosolids in depleted deep subsurface oil and gas formations where the earth’s high temperature biodegrades the organic compounds to generate methane gas that can ultimately be used to produce an environmentally safe renewable energy, while the carbon dioxide is sequestered.
SoCal Gas are experts in understanding fluid transport infrastructure capabilities and needs. This expertise will be invaluable in evaluating these needs with respect to CO2 transport, from source to injection.
California is the second largest natural gas consuming state, and SoCal Gas is one of the largest distribution companies in the entire United States, with 1,887 miles of pipeline.
Terralog is the Principal Investigator and a cost-sharing partner for a DOE, NETL and CEC funded site characterization project, a comprehensive research program to better characterize the Pliocene and Miocene sediments in the Wilmington Graben, directly offshore of the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor area, and surrounding areas for high volume CO2 storage.
Terralog is a geologic, geomechanics and reservoir engineering consulting and research firm and the founder of SoCalCarb.
GeoEnvironment Technologies is a cost-sharing partner in Terralog’s site characterization project.
GeoEnvironment is a municipal biosolids and brine injection services provider, with the experience and expertise required to handle CO2 injection operations.
Dr. Mark Legg, President of Legg Geophysical Inc, with over 25 years of experience in the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of seismic reflection/refraction profiles to model crustal structure, is SoCalCarb’s expert in seismic interpretation.
Don Clarke, with over 30 years of geologic expertise in Southern California, correlates well log data with seismic interpretations and his understanding of the regional geology to ensure a realistic geologic interpretation for Terralog’s site characterization project.
Dr. Dan Francis, Professor and Department Chair of the Geological Sciences Department of Cal State Long Beach, is SoCalCarb’s well data and seismic acquisition specialist. He is also Director of the Los Angeles Basin Subsurface Data Center
Dr. Dan Ponti, a research geologist with the USGS, oversees a core and sample repository which includes cores and samples from a stratigraphic well drilled as part of Terralog’s site characterization project. His research will enhance our knowledge of Southern California’s regional geology.
Dr. Sunny Jiang and her students at UCI study the changes of microbial communities over time in the deep subsurface. Bacterial genomic DNA extracted from the subsurface points to the existence of methogenic thermophillic or mesophillic bacteria communities in the subsurface.
Collaboration and interest is growing from other researchers and partners from academic institutions, energy development firms, utilities, and industrial partners with common interests in CO2 sequestration using saline geologic reservoir and formations.