© University of Aberdeen
© University of Aberdeen

‘Hydrogen bank’ technology to be explored by the University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen has announced its scientists are developing a technology to enable electricity generated by renewables to be banked as green hydrogen.

The ‘hydrogen bank’ will utilise depleted oil and gas reservoirs and contribute to reducing industrial carbon emissions, helping Scotland achieve its Net Zero ambitions and become an exporter of hydrogen, while providing use to existing infrastructure.

The project, led by Dr Prashant Jadhawar from the University’s School of Engineering, will lead the project which has received support from the Net Zero Technology Centre’s (NZTC) Net Zero R&D Programme funded by the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise and backed by various industrial partners.

The first phase of the project will use a combination of modelling, simulation and laboratory experimentation to evaluate the most effective means of transporting hydrogen through the onshore and offshore North Sea pipeline network. The second phase will focus on field trials and commercialisation through the potential formation of a spin-out company to advance the technology.

Dr Jadhawar claimed the technology could be a potential “game-changer” and have a part to play in Scotland’s ambitions to meet its target of 5GW of green and low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030.

He added, “This target relies on there being sufficient hydrogen storage capacity which only subsurface geological formations such as depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs or aquifers can deliver on such a large TWh scale.

“Through our current research we have estimated up to a 20TWh hydrogen storage capacity, as well as the permanent sequestration of 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in a single UKCS reservoir investigated so far.”

Dr Jadhawar will present the project research at Offshore Europe’s Technical Session on Hydrogen Challenges taking place September 7, 2023.

This project announcement is coming of the back of a recent report published by the NZTC suggested that Scotland’s hydrogen production and export potential could be significantly accelerated with the development of a purpose-build marine pipeline.

Part of the NZTC’s Hydrogen Backbone Link project, funded by the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Fund (ETF) and industry, the report found that the repurposing of existing oil and gas assets before determining a whole new pipeline route is the “optimal route to market.”

Read more:Hydrogen pipeline could see Scotland meet 10% of Europe’s import demand, says report

Ekua Osei, Project Engineer at NZTC, said, “As we transition from a legacy energy source to new vectors and more sustainable sources, it’s important that we do so in an environmentally conscious way, whilst reusing and repurposing the existing transportation pipelines and reservoirs.”

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