Net Zero webinar

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The London SPE Net Zero Gaia committee is delighted to bring you the next in our Net Zero webinar series, with a deep dive into hydrogen storage.

We are joined by Dr Katriona Edlmann, the Chancellor’s Fellow in Energy and Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, who will use her wealth of experience to address two topics. The first is an overview of hydrogen storage and its role in reaching net zero. The second is a review of the latest research on the displacement and trapping of hydrogen in porous reservoirs.

Talk 1: Geological storage of hydrogen for Net Zero
To meet the global commitments for net zero carbon emissions, our energy mix must transition from fossil fuels. Hydrogen is gaining increasing recognition as a low-carbon energy option to support this energy transition. It can promote increased renewable energy uptake by acting as an energy store to balance supply and demand and is being considered as a low-carbon substitute for fossil fuels to decarbonise domestic and industrial heat, industrial processes, power generation and heavy-duty transport. For hydrogen to be deployed at the scales required for net zero, we will need access to large-scale geological storage. This talk will introduce the role of hydrogen to decarbonise energy, the scale of hydrogen storage required and the different hydrogen storage technologies. It will also highlight the integration of hydrogen storage within our existing energy system and introduce the existing hydrogen storage projects currently underway or in planning.

Talk 2: Hydrogen displacement and trapping during storage in porous reservoirs
This talk will present the findings from our ongoing research into hydrogen displacement and trapping in porous media during multiple drainage and imbibition cycles, undertaken using x-ray computed micro-CT, micromodels and conventional core flooding experimental equipment. Our results indicate that hydrogen behaves as a non-wetting fluid filling the centre of the pores, with residual brine in the pore corners. During multiple injection and withdrawal cycles, we demonstrate that hydrogen trapping occurs via snap-off of hydrogen ganglia resulting in reduced effective permeability and recovery efficiencies due to increased residual trapping. Our work also demonstrates that the magnitude of the trapping depends on flow rate, pressure and pore size distribution, suggesting that appropriate site selection and management of the injection and withdrawal rates can create the opportunity to minimise hydrogen trapping, optimising recovery efficiencies and, in turn, the economic feasibility of underground porous formation hydrogen storage operations.