Large-scale, long-term Storage of Energy transformed into Hydrogen – what will happen in the geological Underground?

Dieter Pudlo1, Steven Henkel1, Reinhard Gaupp1
1 Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences

O 11.2 in Wärme-, Energie- und Kohlenstoffspeicherung im Untergrund

29.05.2014, 14:20-14:40, H18, NW II

The transformation of electrical energy by electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen is a well known technical process. The knowledge led to the establishment of worldwide only a few pilot projects, in which the underground storage of hydrogen in salt caverns is tested (e.g. Brockmann et al., 2010). These geological structures were chosen because of their assumed tightness to prevent unwanted hydrogen release and their non-reactive chemical/mineralogical behavior with hydrogen. Besides salt caverns, depleted gas reservoirs are most favorable for hydrogen underground storage (Kruck et al., 2013). Due to the limited storage volume and the restricted number of salt cavern sites the H2STORE-project was initiated to investigate the potential of depleted natural gas reservoirs for storing hydrogen in large volumes and large time spans (e.g. months).

Foh et al. (1979) in their fundamental work on underground hydrogen storage proposed an almost non-reactive behavior of single mineral components of pore space reservoirs (e.g. sandstone deposits). However, most recently e.g. Truche et al. (2013) and Pichler (2013) stated that hydrogen can initiate some mineral dissolution as well as precipitation at storage conditions. Thus it is anticipated that stored hydrogen will initiate complex mineral - (formation) fluid - gas (hydrogen) - microbiological interactions in sandstones. This system is further complicated by the occurrence of (residual) hydrocarbon species in depleted gas reservoirs. Therefore a highly variable system of five major compounds at distinct P- and T-conditions has to be regarded in evaluating the feasibility of hydrogen storage in pore space reservoirs. These mineralogical – geo-, hydro- and biochemical reactions will also affect the petrophysical behavior of the reservoir and cap rocks.

The scope of the H2STORE-project is to evaluate such complex reactions and their effects on reservoir quality and storage volumes by performing intensive analytical, experimental, and modeling work. This is performed in six subprojects, each of them treating specific topics. An extension of research by including isotopic investigations (C-, H-system) is planned. It is assumed that the complex approach of H2STORE will contribute important information for a change in electrical supply from nuclear and fossil sources to regenerative, sustainable energy production by solar, wind, and biomass as demanded by the German government.

A detailed description of the H2STORE-project and its subprojects is given by e.g. Pudlo et al. (2013).


Brockmann, B., Donadei, S., Crotogino, F. (2010): Energy storage in salt caverns – Renewable energies in the spotlight. In: Hou, M.Z., Xie, H., Yoon, J.S. (eds.): Underground Storgae of CO2 and Energy, p. 271–277. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton-London-New York-Leiden

Foh, S., Novil, M., Rockar, E., Randolph, P. (1979): Underground hydrogen storage. Final report, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton-New York. p. 145

Kruck, O., Crotogino, F., Prelicz, R., Rudolph, T. (2013): Assessment of the potential, the actors and relevant business cases for large scale and seasonal storage of renewable electricity by hydrogen underground storage in Europe “HyUnder” – Deliv.No.3.1: Overview on all Known Underground Storage Technologies for Hydrogen. Report, 14.08.2013. p. 93

Pichler, M. (2013): Assesment of hydrogen – rock interactions during geological storage of CH4-H2 mixtures. Master thesis, Univ. Leoben, p. 97

Pudlo, D., Ganzer, L., Henkel, S., Kühn, M., Liebscher, A., De Lucia, M., Panfilov, M., Pilz, P., Reitenbach, V., Albrecht, D., Würdemann, H., Gaupp, R. (2013): The H2STORE Project: Hydrogen Underground Storage – A Feasible Way in Storing Electrical Power in Geological Media ?. In: Hou, M.Z., Xie, H., Were, P. (eds.): Clean Energy Systemsin the Subsurface: Production, Storage and Conversion. Springer Series in Geomechanics & Geoengineering, p. 395-412.

Truche, L., Jodin-Caumon, M.-C., Lerouge, C., Berger, G., Mosser-Ruck, R., Giffaut, E., Michau, N. (2013): Sulphide mineral reactions in clay-rich rock induced by high hydrogen pressure. Application to disturbed or natural settings up to 250°C and 30 bar. Chem. Geol., 351, p. 217-228

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Letzte Änderung 08.04.2014