NETL conducts monitoring and monitoring technology research for underground hydrogen storage as part of SHASTA collaboration

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) researchers across the country are stepping up efforts to solve challenging production, transportation, and storage problems to convert hydrogen (H2) as a low-carbon fuel option for a range of key energy applications. NETL is a key part of an overall effort to advance subsurface H monitoring and monitoring technologies2 Storage facilities for maximum security.

Safe underground H2 Storage requires technology to effectively monitor facilities to ensure natural gas is safely stored in underground resources until needed to power more of the nation’s critical transportation, power generation and manufacturing applications.

According to Ruishu Wright of the NETL Functional Materials team, a range of sensors and wellbore monitoring tools have been used for geological carbon dioxide (CO2) storage, oil and gas industry and other related underground storage industry applications. At NETL, a team of experts is helping to develop cost-effective methods to monitor H2 Extensive underground storage facilities Capacity required due to greater mobility and buoyancy of H2 gas plume.

This work is part of NETL’s participation in a multinational laboratory called Subsurface Hydrogen Assessment, Storage and Technology Acceleration (SHASTA). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Stewardship established SHASTA in 2021 to explore H2 Storage opportunities in geological reservoirs. In addition to NETL, DOE laboratories participating in SHASTA include Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory.

“Monitoring and monitoring are important for assessing and managing the operational risks of underground hydrogen storage,” Wright said. “Therefore, real-time monitoring is required to ensure the integrity of the storage infrastructure and detect early signs of gas leaks.”

Because industry has used hydrogen in a range of applications for decades, there are many commercial hydrogen sensors in operation, including catalytic combustion sensors, electrochemical sensors, thermal conductivity sensors, resistive sensors, acoustic leak sensors, and optical-based sensors.

“The problem is that most existing sensor technologies are point or stand-off hydrogen sensors,” Wright said. “In large storage facilities, there is a real need for wide-area and long-range monitoring for hydrogen leak detection. In addition, the subsurface conditions of some underground storage facilities can be challenging, as higher levels are not encountered under typical sensor operating conditions. pressure and temperature.”

This means that researchers are evaluating emerging sensor technologies, such as fiber-optic sensors and passive wireless sensors, which are safer in flammable gas mixtures than electrical-based sensors.

Researchers are also racing to meet the need for technologies to monitor groundwater quality to identify geochemical changes that may be needed to prevent groundwater pollution. Some geochemical changes can lead to wellbore failure, which also requires real-time monitoring.

Another area of ​​focus in H2 Storage monitoring and monitoring are induced seismic events: minor earthquakes and tremors caused by activities such as geothermal energy extraction, mining dam construction, construction and hydraulic fracturing can alter the stress and strain of the Earth’s crust.

Experience with underground storage facilities inducing seismic events is very limited.But has extensive experience in seismic monitoring and risk management of oil and gas, wastewater treatment and carbon dioxide2 A storage area that can be used for gas storage operations with seismic concerns. SHASTA’s work is focused on ensuring that all the most useful and effective technologies meet the surveillance and surveillance needs of this emerging industry.

NETL drives innovation and provides technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant, and reliable energy that drives a strong economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the lifecycle for all Americans achieve environmental sustainability.

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