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Hydrogen recovery from porous media decreases with brine injection pressure and increases with brine flow rate

Hydrogen recovery from porous media decreases with brine injection pressure and increases with brine flow rate
Hydrogen recovery from porous media decreases with brine injection pressure and increases with brine flow rate
Zero carbon energy generation from renewable sources can reduce climate change by mitigating carbon emissions. A major challenge of renewable energy generation is the imbalance between supply and demand. To overcome the energy imbalances, subsurface storage of hydrogen in porous mediais suggested as a large-scale and economic solution, yet its mechanisms are not fully understood. Important unknowns are the effect of the high migration potential of the small and mobile hydrogen molecule and the volume of recoverable hydrogen.

We conducted non-steady state, cyclic hydrogen and brine injection experiments at 2-7 MPa and flow rates of 2-80 µl min-1 using water-wet Clashach sandstone cylinders of 4.7 mm diameter and 53-57 mm length (Clashach composition: ~96 wt.% quartz, 2% K-feldspar, 1% calcite, 1% ankerite). Two sets of experiments were performed using our new transparent flow-cell designed for x-ray computed microtomography: 1) Experiments using a laboratory x-ray source (University of Edinburgh) imaged the flow, displacement and capillary trapping of hydrogen by brine as a function of saturation after primary drainage and secondary imbibition. 2) Experiments using synchrotron radiation (Diamond Light Source, I12-JEEP tomography beamline) captured time-resolved hydrogen and brine flow and displacement processes. Pressure and mass flow measurements across the experimental apparatus complemented the microtomography volumes in both sets of experiments.

Results from a water-wet rock show that hydrogen behaves as a non-wetting phase and sits in the centre of the pore bodies, while residual brine sits in corners and pore throats. Hydrogen saturation in the pore volume is independent of the injection pressure and increases with increasing hydrogen/brine injection ratio up to ~50% saturation at 100 % hydrogen. Capillary trapping of hydrogen during brine imbibition occurs via snap off and is greatest at higher brine injection pressures, with 10 %, 12% and 21% hydrogen trapped at 2, 5 and 7 MPa, respectively. Higher brine flow rates reduce capillary trapping and increase hydrogen recovery at any given injection pressure. Based on these results, future hydrogen storage operations should inject 100% hydrogen and manage the reservoir pressure to avoid high pressures and minimize capillary trapping of hydrogen during brine reinjection.

Ongoing analysis of time-resolved experimental data will provide further insight into the critical pore-scale processes that ultimately influence the potential for geological hydrogen storage and recovery.
Thaysen, Eike M.
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Butler, Ian B.
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Freitas, Damien
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Hassanpouryouzband, Aliakbar
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Alvarez Borges, Fernando
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Atwood, Robert C.
853929bc-679d-47bb-8ba8-acd139fc857e
Humphreys, Bob
132d708e-79a6-4cf7-86e3-e62b5867c78d
Edlmann, Katriona
b07f28c0-fd3d-4353-adbc-e3896e5e482c
Thaysen, Eike M.
4ef01541-ada6-4f4c-9d1b-16e1fcc34061
Butler, Ian B.
8247a198-63bc-4a22-bb75-97a37dee724d
Freitas, Damien
36cef800-2c61-4540-aef6-5c3731c0a681
Hassanpouryouzband, Aliakbar
88b0e750-5011-45ff-a396-c91a0848eda8
Alvarez Borges, Fernando
5512cdfd-6ad3-475f-8aec-2fc767607314
Atwood, Robert C.
853929bc-679d-47bb-8ba8-acd139fc857e
Humphreys, Bob
132d708e-79a6-4cf7-86e3-e62b5867c78d
Edlmann, Katriona
b07f28c0-fd3d-4353-adbc-e3896e5e482c

Thaysen, Eike M., Butler, Ian B., Freitas, Damien, Hassanpouryouzband, Aliakbar, Alvarez Borges, Fernando, Atwood, Robert C., Humphreys, Bob and Edlmann, Katriona (2022) Hydrogen recovery from porous media decreases with brine injection pressure and increases with brine flow rate. 24th European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Online, Vienna, Austria. 23 - 27 May 2022. (doi:10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2458).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

Zero carbon energy generation from renewable sources can reduce climate change by mitigating carbon emissions. A major challenge of renewable energy generation is the imbalance between supply and demand. To overcome the energy imbalances, subsurface storage of hydrogen in porous mediais suggested as a large-scale and economic solution, yet its mechanisms are not fully understood. Important unknowns are the effect of the high migration potential of the small and mobile hydrogen molecule and the volume of recoverable hydrogen.

We conducted non-steady state, cyclic hydrogen and brine injection experiments at 2-7 MPa and flow rates of 2-80 µl min-1 using water-wet Clashach sandstone cylinders of 4.7 mm diameter and 53-57 mm length (Clashach composition: ~96 wt.% quartz, 2% K-feldspar, 1% calcite, 1% ankerite). Two sets of experiments were performed using our new transparent flow-cell designed for x-ray computed microtomography: 1) Experiments using a laboratory x-ray source (University of Edinburgh) imaged the flow, displacement and capillary trapping of hydrogen by brine as a function of saturation after primary drainage and secondary imbibition. 2) Experiments using synchrotron radiation (Diamond Light Source, I12-JEEP tomography beamline) captured time-resolved hydrogen and brine flow and displacement processes. Pressure and mass flow measurements across the experimental apparatus complemented the microtomography volumes in both sets of experiments.

Results from a water-wet rock show that hydrogen behaves as a non-wetting phase and sits in the centre of the pore bodies, while residual brine sits in corners and pore throats. Hydrogen saturation in the pore volume is independent of the injection pressure and increases with increasing hydrogen/brine injection ratio up to ~50% saturation at 100 % hydrogen. Capillary trapping of hydrogen during brine imbibition occurs via snap off and is greatest at higher brine injection pressures, with 10 %, 12% and 21% hydrogen trapped at 2, 5 and 7 MPa, respectively. Higher brine flow rates reduce capillary trapping and increase hydrogen recovery at any given injection pressure. Based on these results, future hydrogen storage operations should inject 100% hydrogen and manage the reservoir pressure to avoid high pressures and minimize capillary trapping of hydrogen during brine reinjection.

Ongoing analysis of time-resolved experimental data will provide further insight into the critical pore-scale processes that ultimately influence the potential for geological hydrogen storage and recovery.

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Published date: May 2022
Venue - Dates: 24th European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Online, Vienna, Austria, 2022-05-23 - 2022-05-27

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 475138
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/475138
PURE UUID: 02dae6f5-03f8-4767-b411-5dfa2a18cadc
ORCID for Fernando Alvarez Borges: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6940-9918

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Date deposited: 10 Mar 2023 17:43
Last modified: 12 Jun 2024 02:04

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Contributors

Author: Eike M. Thaysen
Author: Ian B. Butler
Author: Damien Freitas
Author: Aliakbar Hassanpouryouzband
Author: Fernando Alvarez Borges ORCID iD
Author: Robert C. Atwood
Author: Bob Humphreys
Author: Katriona Edlmann

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