Green House Gas (GHG) mitigation has become a leading concern in the area of climate change. CO2 in particular has been placed in the criteria pollutant category along with NOX, SOX, Mercury, and suspended particulate matter by the EPA and has become a part of new performance standards for coal-fired power plants. Long-term the technologies of CO2 separation, purification, compression, transmission, and ultimately, geological disportion make up the value chain of CO2 carbon capture and storage referred to as CCS.

The Energy and Environment Initiative will aspire to develop the necessary technologies to cost effectively separate CO2 from fossil fueled energy facilities such as coal-fired power plants, natural gas and oil-fired power plants, and industrial facilities such as petrochemical plants and cement manufacturing facilities. Process technologies and integration to drive efficiency will be the enabling capability to achieve cost effectiveness. The corresponding injection of CO2 into deep underground geologies will be the mitigating step and the underground visualization and imaging as well as geophysical and geochemical reactions will provide keys to measuring, monitoring, and validating the long-term, safe, and permanent storage of CO2. Much of the CO2 CCS effort to date has been directed at CO2 storage as a “waste” product. Our Initiative will strive to maximize the “utilization” of that CO2 long-term and that will be the primary focus of our EOR efforts to utilize the CO2 and then safely and permanently store the CO2. EOR technology is a Rice strength through much groundbreaking developments in not only modeling but in the process chemistry of surfactants and other fluids for oil sweep and recovery techniques.

CO2 for EOR or CCUS accomplishes the same objective as simply disposing of the CO2 and provides a commercial driver for the CO2 utilization as well as the supporting business model to enable CO2 mitigation from release to the atmosphere.