Design of an underground compressed hydrogen gas storage

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Title: Design of an underground compressed hydrogen gas storage
Author: Powell, Tobin Micah
Abstract: Hydrogen has received significant attention throughout the past decade as the United States focuses on diversifying its energy portfolio to include sources of energy beyond fossil fuels . In a hydrogen economy , the most common use for hydrogen is in fuel cell vehicles . Advancements in on -board storage devices , investment in hydrogen production facilities nation -wide , development of a hydrogen transmission infrastructure , and construction of hydrogen fueling stations are essential to a hydrogen economy . This research proposes a novel underground storage technique to be implemented at a hydrogen fueling station . Three boreholes are drilled into the subsurface , with each borehole consisting of an outer pipe and an inner pipe . Hydrogen gas (H2 ) is stored in the inner tube , while the outer pipe serves to protect the inner pipe and contain any leaked gas . Three boreholes of varying pressures are necessary to maintain adequate inventory and sufficient pressure while filling vehicles to full tank capacity . The estimated cost for this storage system is $2 .58 million . This dollar amount includes drilling and completion costs , steel pipe costs , the cost of a heavy -duty hydrogen compressor , and miscellaneous equipment expenses . Although the proposed design makes use of decades’ worth of experience and technical expertise from the oil and gas industry , there are several challenges—technical , economic , and social—to implementing this storage system . The impact of hydrogen embrittlement and the lack of a hydrogen transmission infrastructure represent the main technical impediments . Borehole H2 storage , as part of a larger hydrogen economy , reveals significant expenses beyond those calculated in the amount above . Costs related to delivering H2 to the filling station , electricity , miscellaneous equipment , and maintenance associated with hydrogen systems must also be considered . Public demand for hydrogen is low for several reasons , and significant misperceptions exist concerning the safety of hydrogen storage . Although the overall life -cycle emissions assessment of hydrogen fuel reveals mediocre results , a hydrogen economy impacts air quality less than current fossil -fuel systems . If and when the U .S . transitions to a hydrogen economy , the borehole storage system described herein is a feasible solution for on -site compressed H2 storage .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2231
Date: 2011-02-14


Design of an underground compressed hydrogen gas storage. Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2231 .

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