Carbon capture and geological sequestration: science status and the complicated road to deployment at scale



Jens Birkholzer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Date and Time

November 13, 2017 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


William J. Perry Conference Room

Encina Hall, 2nd floor

616 Serra Street

Stanford, CA 94305

Abstract: As a potential measure of mitigating the contribution of fossil fuel emissions to global warming, carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) entails capturing CO2 from from large industrial sources, compressing it to a dense supercritical form (scCO2), injecting it deep into suitable reservoirs, and storing it permanently. After 20+ years of research on CCS, including various applied studies involving pilot and demonstration projects, many stakeholders believe that the world is now ready to move from demonstration to industrial-scale implementation. Yet many hurdles remain, ranging from mostly technical nature to economic and public perception issues. This talk provides a broad overview of the decades of research on CO2 and discusses what has been learned versus what challenges remain. The presentation also elaborates on California as an interesting example for the complicated road to deployment at scale, as ambitious climate goals and generous carbon credits should provide for project economics to work, yet no California CCS project has materialized to date.

Speaker Bio: Jens Birkholzer is an internationally recognized expert in subsurface energy applications and environmental impact assessment. He is a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL, Berkeley Lab) in Berkeley, California, and currently serves as the Director for the Energy Geosciences Division (EGD) at LBNL. He received his Ph.D. in water resources, hydrology, and soil science from Aachen University of Technology in Germany in 1994. Jens joined LBNL in 1994, left for a management position in his native Germany in 1999, and eventually returned to LBNL in 2001. He has over 400 scientific publications, about 125 of which are in peer-reviewed journals, in addition to numerous research reports. He serves as the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (IJGGC) and is also on the Board of Editorial Policy Advisors for the Journal of Geomechanics for Energy and Environment (GETE). Jens leads the international DECOVALEX Project as its Chairman, is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, and serves as a Senior Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology.