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Fluid-rock interaction in the context of underground hydrogen storage

ABG-123951 Thesis topic
2024-05-17 Public funding alone (i.e. government, region, European, international organization research grant)
Mines ParisTech
- Ile-de-France - France
Fluid-rock interaction in the context of underground hydrogen storage
  • Ecology, environment
  • Process engineering
underground hydrogen storage; renewable energy; gas-solid interaction, gas-liquid interaction; gas thermodynamics; multiphase flow

Topic description

Given its promising prospects from an energy, a political, and an environmental point of view,
hydrogen is currently considered as one of the most interesting energy vectors to ensure a successful
ecological transition. This success must be accompanied by massive storage techniques making it
possible to regulate the gaps between supply and demand. The two most suitable storage methods are
salt caverns and natural porous media in the form of depleted hydrocarbon deposits or aquifers. In
these two storage layouts, mass exchanges take place between the stored hydrogen and the
surrounding environment.

The proposed PhD subject concerns the study of mass exchanges that occur in salt caverns and natural
porous media between a mixture of hydrogen-based gases and the surrounding environment. This
includes the thermodynamic behavior of the gas mixture, its interaction with the present aqueous
solution, and its permeation into the rock of repository. This research is based on the modeling of
rock-fluid and fluid-fluid interaction phenomena as well as the experimental resources of the joint
laboratory of the two research centers (Centre de Géosciences and Centre Énergie Environnement

Funding category

Public funding alone (i.e. government, region, European, international organization research grant)

Funding further details

Presentation of host institution and host laboratory

Mines ParisTech

The school of mines “MINES Paris” is a prestigious French university that is part of the university
PSL “Paris Science Letter”. The PhD thesis is a joint work that will be conducted between the Center
of Geosciences and the Center Energy Environment and Processes located at the city of
Fontainebleau. There are available student residencies and the city is well prepared for student life
with the INSEAD close by.
The proposed PhD subject is the continuity of previous research, where the problems of gas
dissolution in the brine and its permeation in the rock salt are of the main activities of the two centers.
The selected PhD candidate will have the chance to work with experienced staff.

Candidate's profile

This PhD work will include a considerable part of experimental work on laboratory setups dedicated
to studying gas dissolution in aqueous solution and gas permeation in rock. In a next step, the
experimental data will be used to validate numerical models based on the Finite Element Method
(FEM). The candidate needs to show a reasonable understanding of thermodynamics and of fluid flow
in porous media. Candidate profiles with some proficiency in laboratory testing and numerical
modeling will be privileged.

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