The use of hydrogen as a replacement for methane gas for domestic and commercial space heating and industry has the potential to both increase energy security and reduce CO2 emissions. Large-scale, inter-seasonal storage will be required to compensate for seasonal fluctuations in demand; only subsurface porous rocks have the potential for such large-scale storage.
Our overarching objective, in collaboration with industry, policy and regulator partners, is to investigate whether hydrogen storage in UK reservoir rocks is fundamentally feasible.
Foundation stone We will lay the groundwork for further research and pilot projects as vital precursors to industrial-scale trials. After completion of HyPorStor, industry, researchers and public decision makers will have the knowledge-base to make justifiable decisions on the future of hydrogen storage in UK reservoir rocks.
Reservoir reactions We will investigate the fundamental questions of what happens when hydrogen is being injected and withdrawn from subsurface reservoirs. These include possible chemical reactions between the hydrogen and the reservoir rocks. We will evaluate whether these reactions would have positive (increasing injectivity) or negative (loss of hydrogen) effects on hydrogen storage.
Flow properties We will use our state-of-the-art facility to investigate and image the flow properties of hydrogen and in-situ pore fluid (brine). Resulting information will be used to calibrate computer models that simulate “injection and withdrawal” scenarios. These will provide estimates of hydrogen storage efficiencies – the percentage of hydrogen recovered during a typical injection-withdrawal cycle – as well as the hydrogen storage capacities of typical geological storage structures.
Public perception One of the essential aspects of future energy strategies is that they are developed in a way that respects and is responsive to social concern. We will investigate the social perception of hydrogen storage and engage with citizens to understand what shapes perceptions of alternative energy options.
Research and information hub HyStorPor features a multidisciplinary research centre and information hub on hydrogen usage and storage based at the University of Edinburgh. We aim to create a world-leading and sustainable research organisation, funded by both research and industry, which will act as an international hub for future hydrogen storage and use.