Key Messages


Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) is a bridging technology that will allow continued use of existing fossil fuel resources during the transition to a more carbon-neutral US and world economy.

Geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage on the Rock Springs Uplift is essential to existing coal-fired power plants, the world’s largest collection of soda-ash facilities, enhanced oil recovery projects, a new generation of coal-to-chemical plants, and the continued flow of the more than $1.2 billion Wyoming receives annually from coal revenues.

The Rock Springs Uplift could store 13 billion tons of CO2, approximately 240 years of Wyoming’s current CO2 emissions.

Through innovative research, the University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute’s pioneering Wyoming Carbon Underground Storage Project (WY-CUSP) aims to achieve the following:

  • Data retrieval, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Characterization of geological heterogeneity in three dimensions at the Rock Springs Uplift site
  • Substantial reduction of uncertainty associated with numerical simulations of CO2 sequestration on the Rock Springs Uplift (risk reduction)
  • Design of a customized fluid treatment technology for brines produced from the Weber and Madison on the Rock Springs Uplift
  • Planning for a sub-commercial CO2 storage demonstration (1+ Mt per year)

WY-CUSP site characterization research is vital to reducing uncertainty and determining the feasibility of CCUS in Wyoming.

Reducing geologic and geophysical uncertainties will accelerate the design and implementation of an optimal, safe CO2 storage demonstration and displaced fluid management strategy for the Rock Springs Uplift.

The targeted saline aquifers are thousands of feet below all underground sources of drinking water.

WY-CUSP will be implemented in a clear and transparent way, demonstrating that the benefits and risks are well understood and well communicated.

The social, economic, and environmental impacts of site characterization research are relatively low. This research will provide critical information necessary to analyze the feasibility and potential social, economic, and environmental impacts of a pilot- or commercial-scale CCUS project on the Rock Springs Uplift.

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