First carbon capture project underway in ND
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Update: This was originally posted with the incorrect start date, it has since been updated to the correct start date.

NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Carbon capture and the first of its kind here in our state, KX News took a trip to Richardton to learn more.

The Red Trail Energy CCS research project is now assessing the technical and economic feasibility of integrating carbon capture and storage with ethanol production processes.

All this is to reduce our net CO2 emissions.

North Dakota has both significant ethanol production capacity and geology well suited for safe, permanent CO2 storage.

“We’re currently capturing all our CO2 coming off our fermentation process into vapor and condensing it down into a liquid and then taking their carbon capture and putting it into an injection well located about two miles east of here. And have reduced our carbon footprint on our ethanol. The primacy, when North Dakota receive primacy, for the class six, well it allowed us to have the permitting process a lot more fluid and in a more timely manner we believe, and actually the class six permit within the state of North Dakota is more stringent than EPA,” says CEO of Red Trail Energy, Gerald Bachmeyer.

Having primacy jurisdiction means the state is allowed to facilitate construction for this purpose.

CCS may also be an economical option for reducing CO2 emissions.

By doing this, they qualify for market credits, because they meet the requirements of low-carbon fuel programs in other states and no CO2 injection will occur during this research project.

With a total of 48 employees, red river trail manages to operate 24 hours.

This project is the first of its kind in North Dakota, and the first in the nation as far as modern-day technology and equipment that is used.

“It sets the stage for other industries within the state to actually follow in their footsteps to lower our carbon footprint, whether it be in the electrical industry or petroleum industry or in the ethanol industry and what it does is for us it actually lowers our carbon intensity value of our ethanol which in turn gives it a higher value and a bigger return for our shareholders, “said Bachmeyer.

The first official day for the working site was June 16.

Bachmeyer tells us so far, the project averages 465 metric tons of liquid carbon dioxide captured per day, and so far, there have already been 19,335 metric tons objected.

“Yeah it’s a pretty amazing opportunity to be a part of this it feels special to be a part of a project like this especially when it’s the first of its kind,” says plant manager, Kent Glasser.

Bachmeyer tells KX News, that 96% of the corn hosted is all North Dakota corn, out of 23 million bushels.

These crops produce a lot of carbon dioxide.

But he believes that other industries will follow in their footsteps, lowering the carbon intensity value.

So what happens to CO2 underground?

Over time, the CO2 trapped underground will often begin to chemically react with the minerals of the surrounding rock.

The elements bind to create solid, chalky minerals, essentially locking the CO2 into the rock in a process called ‘mineral storage’.

One study, published in the journal Nature, suggests more than 98% of injected CO2 will remain stored for over 10,000 years.

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