EPA approves permit for ADM's second CCS well

By Erin Voegele | September 30, 2014

The U.S. EPA has approved a permit that will allow Archer Daniels Midland Co. to proceed with the development of a second well (CCS#2) to sequester carbon dioxide captured from its Decatur, Illinois, ethanol plant. The well has a projected operational period of five years. Once operational, approximately 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide is expected to be injected into the Mt. Simon geologic formation each year, with 5.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide sequestered over the five-year period.

According to EPA documentation, ADM’s first injection well, CCS#1, is already operational. That well is expected to inject 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the Mt. Simon geologic formation over a three-year period. In March, the project celebrated a new milestone when 750,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the ethanol plant was sequestered. 

The Class VI underground injection permit application for the CCS#2 was filed in mid-2011. A public comment period on the project kicked off in April.  According to the EPA, it completed a technical review of the Class VI permit and responded to more than 100 public comments before approving the permit.

The EPA approved the Class VI permit on Sept. 23. A statement issued by the EPA indicates ADM can begin drilling the well in November in preparation for injecting liquefied carbon dioxide. ADM, however, must demonstrate the integrity of the well before carbon dioxide injection can begin. Extensive monitoring must also be performed at the location.

ADM is only the second facility in the nation to receive a Class VI underground injection permit for carbon sequestration. In August, the EPA issued four Class VI permits for a FutureGen Alliance facility, also located in Illinois.