Natural resources that are removed from beneath the surface of Kansas — salt, natural gas and oil — already support profitable industries in the state.
Now, researchers are looking at a potential underground industry based on putting something back.
Yes, CO2, can be like gold for our state.
Researchers for the Kansas Geological Survey have been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to test a technique that would help determine the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide thousands of feet below the earth’s surface.
Around the world, scientists are studying ways to store carbon dioxide produced by industry underground as a way to curb greenhouse gases. Researchers in Kansas are considering a deep saline aquifer in south-central and southwestern Kansas as a potential spot to sequester CO2. The aquifer, known as the Arbuckle, is a suitable candidate because the water it contains is unusable.
A porous rock formation more than 3,500 feet below the earth’s surface and 1,000 feet thick, the Arbuckle sits below layers of rock. On top of that rock is the High Plains aquifer, which provides much of the region’s fresh water.
The research team hopes to learn whether the aquifer is big enough to make storing carbon dioxide worthwhile and whether there is a risk of carbon dioxide leaking to the surface.
When it comes to carbon dioxide storage, the revenue and environmental protection potential for Kansas seem limitless. We wish great success to the Kansas Geological Survey in its research.