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ADM Completes Carbon Project at Processing Facility

Project captured equivalency of emissions from over one million cars from its corn processing facility in Decatur, IL

Environmental protection green industry pollution carbon capture VIA PIXABAY May 2021

ADM and the University of Illinois announce the successful completion of the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project (IBDP), a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project designed to evaluate and test the technology at commercial scale.

This is one of two CCS projects located adjacent to ADM’s corn processing plant in Decatur, IL.

First-of-its-kind project

The first-of-its-kind project was primarily funded through the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) by the U.S. Department of Energy – National Energy Technology Laboratory with the goal to confirm the ability of the Mt. Simon Sandstone to accept and store one million metric tons of carbon dioxide over a period of three years, the equivalent of annual emissions from about 1.2 million passenger cars according to EPA calculations.

Working together through the MGSC, the Illinois State Geological Survey at the University of Illinois designed, implemented, and monitored the project and ADM was the host and operator.

“ADM is committed to leveraging innovation and technology to advance sustainability across every aspect of our business. Deploying carbon capture and storage technology in our processing operations is one of the many ways we are reducing our environmental footprint,” says Alison Taylor, chief sustainability officer, ADM.

Part of ADM's Strive 35 goals

As part of its Strive 35 sustainability goals, ADM aims to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 25% against a 2019 baseline.

“Today’s announcement marks an important milestone, not only for the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project but also for the advancement of CCS to combat the climate crisis,” says Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the U.S. Department of Energy. “We congratulate ADM and the University of Illinois, and we’re proud to be a part of this achievement.”

The project used 20,000 feet of wells to successfully inject carbon dioxide from ADM’s processing plant more than 6,500 feet underground. More than 2,000 visitors from 30 countries have come to the site throughout the project to learn more about the process and technology.

“The Illinois Basin - Decatur project has successfully achieved its desired outcome to demonstrate that carbon capture and storage can be undertaken safely and effectively. This milestone represents a launching point for the future of this technology, including commercial scale deployments around the world,” says Sallie Greenberg, Principal Scientist Energy & Minerals, Illinois State Geological Survey.

“Addressing climate change in a meaningful way requires carbon emission reductions across the board,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) says. “The Illinois Basin - Decatur Project shows how carbon capture and storage can play an important role in reducing these emissions. I congratulate ADM and the University of Illinois on reaching this milestone, and will continue advocating for federal investments in a clean energy economy.”

“Agribusiness leaders and producers have a vital role to play in reducing our carbon footprint, and game-changing innovation to do just that is occurring right here in central Illinois,” said Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13). “ADM and the U of I’s partnership to capture and store carbon underground will serve as a global model on how to reduce emissions. I’d like to thank ADM and the U of I for proactively taking on this project.”

ADM also began injection operations at a second CCS project, the Illinois Industrial Sources Carbon Capture and Storage Project, in Decatur in April 2017. The project is currently permitted to operate through 2022 and has the potential to store up to 5.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Collectively, these two projects have successfully stored more than 3.4 million metric tons to date.

About Illinois State Geological Survey
The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The ISGS is a premier state Geological Survey serving the needs of Illinois with earth science information relevant to the State's environmental quality, economic vitality, and public safety.

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