From the Farm: CO2 Project

Agriculture

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) – Making fertilizer and ethanol also creates carbon dioxide, but one company has a plan of how to get rid of that CO2.

Navigator CO2 Ventures will oversee construction of the Heartland Greenway Project – a multi-state pipeline network that will link ethanol and fertilizer plants in the western Corn Belt. Carbon dioxide will be piped to Illinois and injected into limestone deep in the earth’s crust, according to spokesperson Elizabeth Burns-Thompson.

“We’re working with these facilities to capture their gas, CO2, at the facilities, put it under a significant amount of pressure, at which point it becomes a liquid, the second state of matter,” Burns-Thompson said. “It will go through a large network of pipeline infrastructure to get down to south-central Illinois here in the Taylorville area. Pump it deep underground to fill in this pore space that we have. We have this unique geology in this area that allows for that activity, and over time that liquid calcifies and becomes part of the rock.”

Burns-Thompson explained how rare this kind of geology is and how advantageous it is.

“We’re really blessed in this area to have that unique geology. There are only certain places throughout the United States that are blessed with the type of space to facilitate activity like this. Christian County happens to be one of them,” Burns-Thompson said. “Not only is it ripe with the geology that is necessary, it’s also been very extensively studied over the years to showcase just how ripe it is for this type of activity, and thus being able to help not only the surrounding communities, but states and regions, be able to decarbonize.”

Overtime, the project will increase in scope.

“We’re looking at about 5 million metric tons initially, being sequestered annually. What that physically looks like is five different wells, 1 million metric tons per well, initially,” Burns-Thompson said. “You’ll see the project mentions up to 15 million metric tons annually, at capacity. We look to build into additional capacity as this project continues to grow into Heartland Greenway 2.0 and 3.0 down the road.”

Burns-Thompson said community meetings about the project would begin in January. We’ll have much more about this on our weekend program, Midwest Ag This Week, on Saturday and Sunday.

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