Subsurface Energy and Gas Storage
The geological subsurface provides a major potential for the storage of large gas volumes. In addition to the conventional storage of natural gas, depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs and aquifers could be used to store and convert different gases for various purposes: Underground Hydrogen Storage (UHS), Underground Energy Storage (UES), carbon capture and storage (CCS, CCUS), underground methanation reactors (UMR).
The injection and storage of such substances which are not necessary naturally present in the subsurface reservoirs is investigated in this research focus. The field of activity includes but is not limited to:
• Fluid dynamics in porous media
• Geochemical reactions
• Microbiological reactions
• Cap rock integrity
• Well integrity
Our research is based on laboratory, analytical and numerical methods. Our laboratories are equipped with conventional instruments for rock sample characterization. In addition, we have a core flooding setup which allows to perform two-phase flow experiments with arbitrary gas mixtures under in-situ reservoir conditions and two autoclave setups allowing long-term static experiments. Our laboratory is equipped with the required safety feature to work with flammable gases, e.g. hydrogen, at any concentration.
The major part of the numerical work is based on the open-source simulator DuMux. We have adapted the code for the simulation of gas storage operations on simple two-dimensional but also on realistic three-dimensional geological models including the potentially occurring growth of biomass and coupled bio-chemical reactions.