Underground hydrogen storage: salt caverns or saline aquifers and depleted gas reservoirs?

Renewable energy systems will play a pivotal role in reducing greenhouse gas emission and achieving the net-zero target in most nations. However, they have intermittent energy production that may not necessarily align with the energy demand. Energy storage has the potential to optimize the integration of renewable and recoverable energies and to contribute to sustainability of energy systems. Converting energy to chemicals and storing them underground can lead to a safe, large-scale, and long-term solution for transition to the low carbon energy systems. Hydrogen as a future low-carbon energy carrier can contribute to the decarbonisation of transportation, power, heating and fuel-intensive industries. Hydrogen has been mainly stored in salt caverns around the world, for example in the UK in salt caverns under Teesside since the 1970s. Recent advancements in understanding of interactions among porous rock, resident fluids, and stored gas phase in the context of natural gas and CO2 geological storage showed the potentials of saline aquifers and depleted gas reservoirs for storage purposes. However, it is still crucial to investigate and understand the advantages and disadvantages of both storage technologies.
In this project the objective is to compare salt caverns against saline aquifers/depleted gas reservoirs for the purpose of hydrogen storage with the prospective of achieving both blue and green hydrogen production targets in the future. The prospective student will also require answering whether there will be enough storage spaces in saline aquifers/depleted gas reservoirs if the blue hydrogen production scenario only achieved. CO2stored (http://www.co2stored.co.uk/home/index) will be used as one of the most updated databases to investigate potential storage sites. They need to explore national energy decarbonization and hydrogen strategies to understand the future hydrogen economy, associated energy storage requirements and available underground storage resources.

Other Comments: 

Please, contact Dr Jahanbakhsh to discuss your interest in this project.

Supervisor name: 
Mercedes Maroto-Valer
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses: 
m.maroto-valer@hw.ac.uk; A.Jahanbakhsh@hw.ac.uk
Project location: 
This could be remote/lab access.
Deputy name: 
Amir Jahanbakhsh
Staff comments: 
Please, contact Dr Jahanbakhsh <A.Jahanbakhsh@hw.ac.uk> to discuss your interest in this project.