Red Trail Energy is the Nation’s First to Capture and Store Carbon Dioxide Underground

Red Trail Energy has made great strides in carbon capture and sequestration following the conclusion of six years of research and development as well as hefty investments.The ethanol plant has become the first facility in the United States to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions deep underground.

The company officially began the injection of CO2 captured from the plant on June 16 and made the official announcement two days later. They expect that each day the plant will capture 500 metric tons of CO2 produced by fermenting corn to make fuel.

This sustainable step reinforces and supports the path for long0term viability of current energy sources in the state. The North Dakota Industrial Commission gave approval for Red Trail Energy to commercially capture 180,000 metric tons of CO2, a greenhouse gas.

This milestone follows after the state became the first in the nation to secure authorization from the Environmental Protection Agency to inject CO2 deep underground for permanent storage. This earlier authorization was granted in 2018. The CO2 is deposited more than a mile underground into the Broom Creek Formation – a porous layer of rock sandwiched between “impenetrable” rock layers that will permanently store the greenhouse gas in the earth.

Officials credited the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota for doing work that demonstrated the feasibility and potential of carbon capture and storage in the state. They estimated that North Dakota can safely store more than 252 billion tons of CO2

Red Trail Energy continuously monitors the stored CO2  using a carbon fiber installation at the injection well as well as an adjacent monitoring well. 

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