CO2 Sequestration


These projects are funded through DOE NETL, DOE EFRC, and NSF CBET grants. The large encompassing goal of these projects is to study COand other gases for sequestration and capture.

For more information on the DOE NETL project please visit their website at WUSTL.  For more information on the DOE EFRC project please visit their website at Georgia Tech

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is currently being pursued as a means of reducing net carbon dioxide (CO2) output from power plant sources by capturing the CO2 then utilizing it or sequestering it. Geological sequestration and chemical utilization of CO2 as a feedstock chemical are actively being explored as possible mechanisms for reducing net anthropogenic CO2 release.

CCS has a number of technical and scientific challenges involving CO2, whichour research aims to address. These questions span a broad range of topics, including:


1. Geological sequestration

   • How is CO2 stored, and what happens to it after injection?

• What geological conditions are favorable for geochemical trapping (i.e., mineralization) versus physical trapping (i.e., containment in underground reservoirs)?

• How is the permeability of geologic reservoirs affected by carbon sequestration?

• Under what conditions will a physical trapping site release CO2 and at what rate?

2. Utilization

• Are there specific reaction conditions that favor conversion of CO2 into a chemical endproduct?

• What are the mechanisms and kinetics governing such reactions?

• Can conditions be optimized to favor product yields?

• Can the endproducts be adequately characterized to enhance the reaction condition?



We are currently developing a new and unique set of in situ spectroscopic tools which will be able to study these different mitigation systems using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements. The images below describe the conditions in which our apparata are designed to take measurements as well as some of our proof-of-concept experimentation and schema for instrument design.


A CO2 Phase Diagram. The dashed area indicates the range where our NMR experiments

 will be performed. (Wolfram|Alpha knowledgebase, 2011).

Proof-of-concept experiments show that both the precursor and end-products can be detected using NMR.

A schematic of the experimental hardware developed at WashU for these experiments.