Technology Area Overview
The Carbon Transport technology area is designed to identify technical gaps, prioritize research needs and develop tools to facilitate and optimize a robust, national-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) transport infrastructure. The near-term goal for 2030 is to expand the nation’s capability to transport 65 million metric tons of CO2 per year. The long-term goal for 2050, aligned with a net-zero carbon emissions strategy by midcentury, is to ensure the capability to transport 1 gigatonne of CO2 per year.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) is working with other federal agency partners—including the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management—to ensure a safe and reliable CO2 transport network that supports the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage and carbon dioxide removal.
Initial program activities in Carbon Transport include:
- Developing projects that will complete front-end engineering design (FEED) studies for regional-scale anthropogenic CO2 pipeline projects that can contribute to economies of scale; transport volume growth; support system efficiency of energy use and economics; and maximize optionality and connectivity of disparate CO2 source, conversion, and storage locations.
- Supporting, in coordination with DOE’s Loan Programs Office, a mechanism to provide Future Growth Grants that expand the capacity and breadth of large-scale transport networks to allow future, not-yet-developed sources of CO2 to rapidly join the networks without requiring additional infrastructure development.
- Developing pre-FEED studies for infrastructure that facilitates intermodal transfer and temporary storage of CO2 in regional and national CO2 transportation networks. Such facilities will allow CO2 streams with different physical characteristics (temperature, pressure) and trace chemical constituents to be efficiently integrated into the transport networks and accommodate variations in flow rates and capacities among different transport modes.
- Sponsoring a Carbon Management Collegiate Competition in which collegiate students were tasked with proposing a regional carbon transport network, defining its business model, and optimizing the transport network across several parameters and with consideration to regional stakeholders, challenges, and cost variability.
In addition, FECM has conducted a series of collaborative, multidisciplinary workshops that have focused on:
- Issues and opportunities that might impact the capacity of various modes of freight transportation to provide cost-effective service as the demand to transport anthropogenic CO2 increases.
- Presentations at Freight Transport Workshop, October 2022.
- Report to Congress on Freight Transport – TBD
- Evaluating the viability of repurposing existing infrastructure in place of—or coordinated with—new infrastructure to meet future carbon transport and storage goals.
- Defining how federal agency research, development, and demonstration efforts can collaborate with ongoing Joint Industry Partnerships to prioritize lab- and pilot-scale research that will inform and mitigate technical and economic risks of CO2 transport deployment.