This report documents the efforts taken to develop a preliminary design for the first commercial-scale CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) project associated with biomass power integrated into a pulp and paper operation. The Boise Wallula paper mill is located near the township of Wallula in Southeastern Washington State. Infrastructure at the paper mill will be upgraded such that current steam needs and a significant portion of the current mill electric power are supplied from a 100% biomass power source. A new biomass power system will be constructed with an integrated amine-based CO2 capture plant to capture approximately 550,000 tons of CO2 per year for geologic sequestration. A customized version of Fluor Corporation’s Econamine Plus™ carbon capture technology will be designed to accommodate the specific chemical composition of exhaust gases from the biomass boiler.
Due to the use of biomass for fuel, employing CCS technology represents a unique opportunity to generate a net negative carbon emissions footprint, which on an equivalent emissions reduction basis is 1.8X greater than from equivalent fossil fuel sources (SPATH and MANN, 2004). Furthermore, the proposed project will offset a significant amount of current natural gas use at the mill, equating to an additional 200,000 tons of avoided CO2 emissions. Hence, the total net emissions avoided through this project equates to 1,100,000 tons of CO2 per year. Successful execution of this project will provide a clear path forward for similar kinds of emissions reduction that can be replicated at other energy-intensive industrial facilities where the geology is suitable for sequestration.
This project also represents a first opportunity for commercial development of geologic storage of CO2 in deep flood basalt formations. The Boise paper mill site is host to a Phase II pilot study being carried out under DOE’s Regional Carbon Partnership Program. Lessons learned from this pilot study and other separately funded projects studying CO2 sequestration in basalts will be heavily leveraged in developing a suitable site characterization program and system design for permanent sequestration of captured CO2. The areal extent, very large thickness, high permeability in portions of the flows, and presence of multiple very low permeability flow interior seals combine to produce a robust sequestration target. Moreover, basalt formations are quite reactive with water-rich supercritical CO2 and formation water that contains dissolved CO2 to generate carbonate minerals, providing for long-term assurance of permanent sequestration. Sub-basalt sediments also exist at the site providing alternative or supplemental storage capacity.