Executive Summary *

The GeoH2 Industrial Affiliates Program (IAP) conducts research and technology development on geological aspects of the hydrogen economy in three thematic research areas:

  • Geological storage of gaseous hydrogen
  • Techno-economic and value-chain analysis 
  • Novel concepts including in situ generation and natural hydrogen

The strategic intent of GeoH2 is to conduct parallel research in these three themes to increase understanding, reduce uncertainty, and inform directions for large-scale hydrogen development.  The proposed research activities were prioritized to address strategic needs (i.e. gaps in understanding, key issues) with the constraints of available funding.  

The Geological Storage theme includes research on bulk storage of hydrogen gas in porous-media (depleted fields and saline aquifers) and in salt dissolution caverns. Geological storage is subdivided into two "project" groups to ensure that critical research elements could be advanced in parallel. The two "project" groups are:  Reservoir Characterization and Flow Modeling; and Risk Assessment, Field Testing and Monitoring Design.   

The aim of the Techno-economics Value Chain Analysis theme is to develop a complete modeling and analysis framework that describes options of routes to market for hydrogen as a full value chain, and identify commercially viable infrastructure buildout for scaling up the hydrogen sector as a low carbon solution in a transitional energy economy.  The intent of this theme is to inform optimal value chains for various end usages and markets with an emphasis on geological storage and infrastructure.

The Novel Concepts theme consists of research activities to address specific questions regarding in situ generation modes for hydrogen generation, occurrence of natural hydrogen, and fundamental questions such as mixing in subsurface reservoirs. The in situ work addresses reactions, reaction products, and flow phenomena associated with hydrogen generated from in situ hydrocarbons with a current focus on combustion methods. In situ generation of hydrogen gas from the subsurface offers enormous potential for low cost hydrogen generation, and hence, merits exploratory research.  Work on natural hydrogen encompasses assessment of natural generation processes, and key factors for exploration of natural hydrogen accumulations.  Fundamental questions and new approaches to dispersion and mixing phenomena of hydrogen in subsurface reservoirs are being addressed in this research theme with implications for storage and in situ generation.

* This is an excerpt from the GeoH2 Industrial Affiliate Program Overview of Proposed Research Activities for 2022-2023. The full document is accessible to Sponsors and Affiliates.

University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas