Commodities trader Archer Daniels Midland recently announced it has begun operations at a carbon capture and storage project in central Illinois capable of storing more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide a year.
The Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage project, located in Decatur, is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for injecting 3,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide daily. That’s about 5.5 million metric tons over a five-year period.
ADM announced it was starting operations on April 7.
“We are extremely proud to be part of this important program,” said Todd Werpy, ADM chief technology officer. “The technology that we are using in Decatur can be a model for reducing industrial carbon emissions around the world.”
Carbon capture and storage is the process of harnessing carbon dioxide emissions and packing them up in a way where they can’t escape into the air. Scientists widely believe that climate change is caused by the collection of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
ADM’s Decatur facility is partially funded through a $99.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The new carbon capture and store site will store carbon dioxide more than a mile underground, according to ADM.
It is the agribusiness company’s second carbon capture and storage project in Illinois. A smaller-scale project received EPA operational approval in 2011.
There are currently 12 large-scale carbon capture and storage facilities operating in North America.
While ADM sees carbon capture and storage as an effective way to reduce its environmental impact, some advocacy groups have been less optimistic about the method. Officials from Greenpeace, for example, have called carbon capture and storage risky, unproven and expensive.