Investigating the Chemical Reactivity for Hydrogen in Siliciclastic Sediments: two Work Packages of the H2STORE Project

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Peter Pilz and Marco De Lucia, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
The H2STORE ("Hydrogen to Store") collaborative project, funded by the German government, investigates the feasibility of industrial-scale hydrogen storage from excess wind energy in siliciclastic depleted gas and oil reservoirs or suitable saline aquifers. In particular, two work packages (geochemical experiments and modelling) hosted at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) focus on the possible impact of hydrogen on formation fluids and on the mineralogical, geochemical and petrophysical properties of reservoirs and caprocks.

Laboratory experiments expose core samples from several potential reservoirs to pure hydrogen or hydrogen mixtures under site-specific conditions (temperatures up to 200 °C and pressure up to 300 bar). The resulting qualitative and, whereas possible, quantitative data are expected to ameliorate the precision of predictive geochemical and reactive transport modelling, which is also performed within the project.

The combination of experiments and models will improve the knowledge about: (1) solubility model and mixing rule for of hydrogen and its gas mixtures in high saline formation fluids; (2) hydrogen reactivity in a broad spectrum of P-T conditions; (3) thermodynamics and kinetics of mineral dissolution or precipitation reactions and redox processes. It is known that under specific P-T conditions reactions between hydrogen and anorganic rock components such as carbonates can occur. However these conditions have never been precisely defined to date.

A precise estimation of the hydrogen impact on reservoir behavior of different siliciclastic rock types is crucial for site selection and optimization of storage depth. Enhancing the overall understanding of such systems will benefit the operational reliability, the ecological tolerance, and the economic efficiency of future energy storing plants, crucial aspects for public acceptance and for industrial investors.