In A Flash

LSU awarded millions from federal government to study carbon capture

By: - August 17, 2023 4:38 pm

LSU’s Memorial Tower climbs into the sky on Monday, March 20, 2023, on Tower Drive in Baton Rouge, La. (Matthew Perschall for Louisiana Illuminator)

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded nearly $5 million to an LSU-led consortium to study the feasibility of building a carbon capture hub in Louisiana. 

The Pelican Consortium, which includes Shell and the University of Houston, will evaluate the potential for scaling up and deploying multiple carbon capture technologies.

“Collaborative carbon removal research like this supports efforts to keep pace with the global movement toward a less carbon-intensive economy,” Greg Upton, LSU Center for Energy Studies interim executive director, said in a press release. 

Carbon capture is a process in which carbon dioxide is captured from the atmosphere. It can then be used for industrial purposes or stored deep underground. The stated goal of the technology is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon capture does not yet exist on a meaningful scale, although 30 projects have so far been proposed in Louisiana. 

Carbon capture has the support of the fossil fuel industry, though critics say it would be better for oil and gas companies to reduce their CO2 output directly. Many feel the environmental and safety impacts of underground carbon storage have not been fully vetted.

Louisiana has been at the forefront of carbon capture projects, although not without controversy. A proposed project under Lake Maurepas has provoked outrage among neighboring community members who fear that the untested technology will spoil the lake.

The Biden administration plans to spend more than $4 billion to jumpstart four carbon capture projects in the U.S., including a proposed direct air Co2 capture hub in Calcasieu Parish.


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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.