Identifying Sites for Subterranean Gas Storage

The storage of CO2 in depleted offshore oil and gas wells has become in integral part of climate change mitigation strategies. Similarly, the implementation of the hydrogen economy relies upon local access to wind farms and electrolysis (green hydrogen) or methane-bearing gas fields and associated carbon dioxide stores (blue hydrogen). Selection of suitable sites to store the two gases cannot be done using similar metrics as that would not consider the differing chemistries of the gases or the different timescales for which they are to be stored. Developing a set of clear guidelines on what made for a suitable storage site for each gas would make the safe selection of future sites a robust a reliable process.

One project will focus on assessing sites for the storage of CO2. Initially, we wish to examine any potential differences in the geochemistry of sites that have and have not previously stored CO2 over geological timescales. By understanding the interactions the gas will have with the surrounding rock (and the timescale of these interactions), we can examine the effect this will ultimately have on the security of the stored gas.

A second project will examine the various onshore and offshore subsurface storage options for hydrogen. This will begin with a study of the existing literature on porous, hydrogen storage materials and determining the factors which are critical to successful storage. We can then examine how this data can be used to interpret the suitability of a potential site for geological hydrogen storage.

Supervisor name: 
Dr R.D. McIntosh
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses: 
r.mcintosh@hw.ac.uk
Deputy name: 
Prof. J.R. Underhill