Durbin Highlights $10 Million Federal Investment in Illinois CO2 Projects

DECATUR – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded two grants totaling $10 million to the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), housed at the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI). The grants will fund projects to research commercial-scale geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Any meaningful strategies for addressing the causes and dangers of climate change must include reduced carbon emissions,” Durbin said. “That’s why we are here today to announce a $10 million investment by the United States Department of Energy to study if 50 million tons of carbon dioxide can be stored deep underground here in Illinois. Split between two projects, the grants will support work that builds on the knowledge gained from Department of Energy’s previous carbon sequestration pilot-project.”


The two grants are part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Storage Assurance and Facility Enterprise initiative to assess the viability of carbon storage technologies and geological storage sites in Illinois. These projects will help demonstrate how carbon emissions from power plants can be safely sequestered, and could provide Illinois with an advantage in job training and technology deployment.


The ISGS received $8.9 million to address the feasibility of a commercial-scale CO2 geologic storage complex within the Mt. Simon sandstone formation located in Macon County.  This work will build upon the success of the previous ADM-led pilot project, which sequestered over one million metric tons of CO2, to store over 50 million metric tons of CO2. The ISGS received an additional $1.2 million to study the challenges, opportunities, and risks involved in building a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project at another location in East-Central Illinois.

Richland Community College, PRI’s Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, the Indiana Geological Survey, Schlumberger Carbon Services, Industrial Economics Incorporated, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Brigham Young University, Trimeric Corporation, and the University of Wyoming are partners in the projects.