Aemetis study explores CCS potential at biofuels sites

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A new study commissioned by Aemetis has concluded that more than two million tonnes of CO2 per year can be removed from the atmosphere and safely injected into the earth at two ethanol plant sites in California.

The carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) geologic formatting and drilling study was completed by Aemetis Carbon Capture, a subsidiary of Aemetis, and was conducted by global energy services firm Baker Hughes.

The study estimated that 1 million tonnes per year of CO2 can be sequestered in the saline formations located deep underground at or near the Aemetis Keyes ethanol plant site. It noted that up to 1.4 million tonnes per year of CO2 should be injectable at or near the Aemetis Riverbank site due to the ‘favourable permeability’ of the saline formation and other factors.

“The conclusions from the initial Baker Hughes study confirm the feasibility of Aemetis plans to construct two CO2 injection wells at or near the Aemetis biofuels sites,” said Brian Fojtasek of ATSI, the project manager for the Aemetis Carbon Capture construction phase.

“We have completed front end loading engineering and are now working on the front end engineering design and permitting for the Aemetis CCS projects.”

Once complete, the Aemetis CCS project is expected to capture and sequester more than 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually at the two biofuels plant sites in Keyes and Riverbank, California. The amount of CO2 sequestered each year is expected to be equal to the emissions of 460,000 passenger cars.

Ajit Menon, energy transition leader for Oilfield Services at Baker Hughes, commented: “This latest study for Aemetis builds on our deep experience in providing storage site evaluation, well placement, underground formation review and drilling technology for CCS injection projects.

“This is another step in the development of CCS capacity, which will be a key part of the energy transition going forward.”

Each tonne of CO2 is planned to generate around $200 (€170) from the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard and $50 (€42) per tonne of IRS 45Q tax credit. Legislation is pending in Congress to increase the federal tax credit to $80 (€68) per tonne of CO2 and to provide billions of dollars of grants and loans to finance US CCS projects.