Subsurface hydrogen storage controlled by small-scale rock heterogeneities

Zaid Jangda, Hannah Menke, Andreas Busch, Sebastian Geiger, Tom Bultreys, Kamaljit Singh

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Abstract

Subsurface porous rocks hold significant hydrogen (H2) storage potential to support an H2-based energy future. Understanding H2 flow and trapping in subsurface rocks is crucial to reliably evaluate their storage efficiency. In this work, we perform cyclic H2 flow visualization experiments on a layered rock sample with varying pore and throat sizes. During drainage, H2 follows a path consisting of large pores and throats, through a low permeability rock layer, substantially reducing H2 storage capacity. Moreover, due to the rock heterogeneity and depending on the experimental flow strategy, imbibition unexpectedly results in higher H2 saturation compared to drainage. These results emphasize that small-scale rock heterogeneity, which is often unaccounted for in reservoir-scale models, plays a vital role in H2 displacement and trapping in subsurface porous media, with implications for efficient storage strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1202
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume60
Early online date26 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Energy transition
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Pore-scale 3D visualization
  • Porous media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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