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British Geological Survey
University of Manchester
Current options for the geological storage of hydrogen include pumping the gas into large holes dissolved into naturally occurring beds of rock salt underground. However, these are limited by the distribution of suitable accumulations of rock salt, meaning this ‘cavern storage’ is not possible everywhere in the UK. Storage of hydrogen in porous rocks may give an alternative option to cavern storage when located close to industrial areas.
Hydrogen storage in porous rocks is not commercially employed in porous rocks anywhere in the world. There are processes including geochemical and microbial reactions in the rocks that can be enhanced in the presence of hydrogen which means concerns have been raised relating to containment and contamination of the stored hydrogen. Consequently, to support the uptake of porous storage, there is an urgent need to understand the behaviour of these rocks in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency.
In response to this need, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has recently completed a collaboration with the University of Manchester to investigate the behaviour of hydrogen in the laboratory using samples of porous rocks that may be considered for future storage. This report brings together the findings of this study.