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The U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, established the National Sequestration Education Center (NSEC) as part of the 2010 awarded project: “CO2 Capture from Biofuels Production and Sequestration into the Mt. Simon Sandstone.”  The project partners are Archer Daniels Midland Company, Schlumberger Carbon Services, Illinois State Geological Survey, and Richland Community College.
 
The NSEC, located on the College’s main campus within the Richland Agribusiness Applied Technology Park, is a national focal point for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) community outreach and academic programming by providing an innovative experiential learning and knowledge transfer environment.  The NSEC is a 15,000 square foot “smart” educational facility featuring interconnected classroom and laboratory spaces to provide a state-of-the-art learning environment with “real time” sequestration data acquisition, monitoring, and analysis regarding injection and geological system performance.  While the majority of NSEC space is dedicated to educational purposes, the facility also includes a Visitors Center for CCUS outreach to K-12, higher education, scientists, and community members.
 
The Visitors Center features traditional artifact displays, a one of kind leading-edge, state-of-the-art Sequestration Technology Education Learning Array (STELA), which is an interactive presentation to learn CCUS about technologies, and a “sustainability nature walk.”  

Traditional artifacts include hands-on experiential items such as well drills and geological samples, as well as visual display overviews of Department of Energy projects for CCUS technology development and research encompassing: 1) core research and development, 2) infrastructure, and 3) global collaborations.  The display theme provides focus on the research and development of CCUS technologies with significant potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate global climate change.

The STELA experience uses a cooperative game-based learning pedagogical foundation in providing an interactive experience in discovering CCUS.  The “sustainability nature walk” is part of the NSEC site, located adjacent to the NSEC.  This walkway features sustainable plants, energy grasses, wind turbines, solar arrays, and other artifacts highlighted with point-of-interest narrative displays.
 
Schedule a visit to the NSEC today!