Geological Storage of Hydrogen: Review and insights from numerical simulations
Friday, November 5, 12:00-1:00 pm Central

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Geological Storage of Hydrogen: Review and insights from numerical simulations


There is a consensus forming among governments, environmentalists, and energy companies that clean fuel like H2 will play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions. However, deployment of hydrogen as a dominant energy carrier replacing liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons will require a portfolio of short-and long-term mass storage options, with different technologies selected based on required storage volume and duration, distance of transportation, hydrogen source and purity, and intended use. Geological storage is likely to be the most cost-effective option for intermediate to long-term seasonal or strategic storage. Geological storage includes salt caverns, lined rock caverns, and porous reservoirs in the form of depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers. While salt cavern storage is a tested technology, its availability is limited by the distribution of suitably thick salt layers. Porous reservoirs provide generally ample availability of storage units with unlimited storage volume, with the potential of converting existing natural gas storage infrastructure.

We have carefully evaluated existing non-isothermal compositional gas reservoir simulator(s) and their suitability for hydrogen storage and withdrawal from aquifers or depleted oil/gas reservoirs. We have successfully calibrated the gas equation of state model and fluid property correlations against published laboratory measurements of H2 solubility, density, and viscosity as a function of pressure and temperature.  Our numerical simulations of H2 in aquifer and oil reservoirs indicated the critical need to contain the stored volume (working gas) due to H2 high mobility (low density and viscosity). The latter objective can be achieved with an integrated approach of site selection and its geological features (i.e. faults/natural fractures, caprock properties), well locations, and the need for pump wells to maximize the gas capacity and displacing the in-situ fluids among others.


Peter Eichhubl is a senior research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology where he conducts research on the flow of fluids in petroleum and geothermal systems, geological fracture mechanics, and fault-reservoir geomechanics. He is on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America since 2006.

Mojdeh Delshad is a research professor at the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering.  Her research is focused on modeling and simulation of enhanced oil recovery methods and geological storage of CO2 and H2.