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July 7, 2006
Contact: Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey, (785) 864-2106.

Researchers to discuss carbon dioxide sequestration at Lawrence meeting

LAWRENCE — One of the gases that may contribute to global climate change will be the subject of discussion for researchers from across the country at a meeting at the University of Kansas.

The Kansas Geological Survey, based on KU’s west campus, is hosting a workshop July 11-13 where researchers will discuss the capture and underground storage of carbon dioxide, which could lower the amount of it in the earth’s atmosphere.

The meeting will involve more than 40 scientists who represent the seven Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships that are studying the issue with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Burning of fossil fuels, particularly in manufacturing or transportation processes, is a major source of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. That carbon dioxide may trap heat at the earth’s surface and lead to global climate change. As a result, scientists are studying the feasibility of capturing carbon dioxide and injecting it into underground rock formations, a process known as “sequestration.”

Scientists at the Lawrence meeting will discuss the capacity of geologic formations to hold carbon dioxide and how that capacity differs from one region of the country to another.
They will also discuss the construction of maps that show where carbon dioxide is produced, where it is transported and where there is capacity for sequestering the gas, along with developing a national atlas that will have information for the public about capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide.

The seven partnerships involved in the effort include more than 300 state agencies, universities and private companies covering 40 states, three Indian nations and four Canadian provinces. Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and other organizations will be at the meeting.

“Dealing with carbon dioxide is an international issue,” said Tim Carr, head of the geological survey’s energy research section and one of the organizers of the meeting. “The people and organizations represented at this workshop will play a key role in helping determine the economic and environmental feasibility of capturing and geologically sequestering of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.”

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