£1.4M hydrogen project could help cut carbon

Edinburgh scientists have been awarded £1.4 million to carry out pioneering work on a technology that could aid efforts to decarbonise the UK’s energy sector.

Geoscientists at the University have received funding to study how hydrogen can be stored underground.

The project aims to improve understanding of hydrogen storage. Areas of interest will include its fundamental physical and chemical processes, and the technology’s social acceptability.

Hydrogen storage

Researchers will use state-of-the-art experimental facilities to study how hydrogen reacts and moves underground, and digital software to work out how to efficiently inject and recover the gas.

They will also engage with the public to ensure that hydrogen storage develops in a way that is both technically feasible and socially acceptable.

Clean energy

Large-scale generation and storage of hydrogen could replace methane for use in domestic heating, thereby reducing one of the UK’s largest sources of carbon emissions, researchers say.

The technology also has the potential to improve winter energy supplies, by enabling the production and storage of hydrogen in the summer for use during colder months.

Research team

The three-year project – called HyStorPor (Hydrogen Storage in Porous Media) – is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

It will be coordinated by Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage – the UK’s largest carbon capture and storage research group – at a new multidisciplinary hub based at the University of Edinburgh.

The team is led by Stuart Haszeldine, the University’s Professor of Carbon Capture and Storage. It includes other Edinburgh scientists, and researchers at Robert Gordon University, Heriot-Watt University and Imperial College London.

The project is supported by an international advisory board, which includes representatives from industry and government bodies.

On the pathway to cleaner air and in the fight against climate change, it is very likely that the UK will change heating in homes and industry from high-carbon methane gas to zero-carbon hydrogen and ammonia. Storing hydrogen made in the summer for use in the winter is a very important part of that change. HyStorPor is the UK’s first project to investigate the basic science we need to make that storage work effectively.

Professor Stuart Haszeldine School of GeoSciences

Related links

Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage

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