Bioreaction coupled flow simulations: Impacts of methanogenesis on seasonal underground hydrogen storage

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Assessing microbial risks is key to feasible hydrogen storage in geological formations. This work quantitatively analyses the impacts of bio-methanation on hydrogen storage performance. Fine-scale flow simulations, coupled with the bio-methanation reaction, are presented to analyse its impact on the storage performance. Based on the reported rates in literature, methanogenesis may slightly degrade the recovery performance of hydrogen but is considered minor compared with the issue of gas mixing. The impacts of methanogenesis on a time scale of months (330 days) becomes observable in the system configured here, when the methanation rate is above 1746 nano molality per hour. The assumed methanation rate is two times greater than the rate reported from the Olla filed. Validated scaling theory generalises findings for gravity-dominated scenarios. But viscous-dominated flows see complications from property variations due to pressure changes at high rates. This study provides definitions of “target properties” (e.g., acceptable methanogenesis rates) for screening hydrogen storage projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-931
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Early online date11 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • CO2 cushion gas
  • Flow modelling
  • H2 purity
  • Methanogenesis
  • Scaling theory
  • Underground hydrogen storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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