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Influence of Pressure, Temperature and Organic Surface Concentration on Hydrogen Wettability of Caprock; Implications for Hydrogen Geo-storage


Hydrogen (H2) as a cleaner fuel has been suggested as a viable method of achieving the decarbonization objectives and meeting increasing global energy demand. However, successful implementation of a full-scale hydrogen economy requires large-scale hydrogen storage (as hydrogen is highly compressible). A potential solution to this challenge is injecting hydrogen into geologic formations from where it can be withdrawn again at later stages for utilization purposes. The geostorage capacity of a porous formation is a function of its wetting characteristics, which strongly influence residual saturations, fluid flow, rate of injection, rate of withdrawal, and containment security. However, literature severely lacks information on hydrogen wettability in realistic geological and caprock formations, which contain organic matter (due to the prevailing reducing atmosphere). We, therefore, measured advancing (θa) and receding (θr) contact angles of mica substrates at various representative thermo-physical conditions (pressures 0.1-25 MPa, temperatures 308–343 K, and stearic acid concentrations of 10−9 - 10−2 mol/L). The mica exhibited an increasing tendency to become weakly water-wet at higher temperatures, lower pressures, and very low stearic acid concentration. However, it turned intermediate-wet at higher pressures, lower temperatures, and increasing stearic acid concentrations. The study suggests that the structural H2 trapping capacities in geological formations and sealing potentials of caprock highly depend on the specific thermo-physical condition. Thus, this novel data provides a significant advancement in literature and will aid in the implementation of hydrogen geo-storage at an industrial scale.


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