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Microbiological Opportunities and Challenges of Hydrogen Underground Storage - MOCHyS

Microbiological Opportunities and Challenges of Hydrogen Underground Storage - MOCHyS

Developing Norway's energy system in a sustainable direction requires a variety of innovative energy systemsolutions to secure sufficient and stable energy supply over time. Many renewable energy systems utilize “Power-to-Gas” technologies, which use renewable electricity to produce hydrogen (H2). To have a secure supply for H2throughout the year, it is essential to have flexible, large-scale energy storage solutions to balance expectedfluctuations of electricity-production and -demand. Underground/subsurface storage has been proposed as afavourable solution for mid-to long-term storage, due to the large available volumes. The proposed project addressesspecifically the option of using existing gas reservoirs as H2 storage sites. These porous reservoirs are abundant onthe Norwegian Continental Shelf having a variety of chemical and physical properties (specifically salinity,temperature, pressure) and a variety of microbial life. It is a known fact that many of these reservoirs harbour diversemicrobial communities and that H2 is not only a perfect energy carrier for human industry but also for microbialmetabolisms. The key question in underground H2 storage we want to answer is: When the subsurface microbes arein contact with the injected H2, will they start consuming it? This would entail not only H2 loss (economic loss) butalso could trigger subsequent mechanisms like H2S formation and loss of hydraulic properties. Our ambition is thatour findings will be the first to generate knowledge on the question as to whether and which kind of microbes will beactive players during H2 underground storage and whether all potential sites will be affected by microbial relatedrisks like H2S formation. The novel results will be essential for our and other industry stakeholders and decisionmakers to realistically estimate operational risks of the storage sites, develop screening criteria and specificmonitoring tools.

Project facts


Microbiological Opportunities and Challenges of Hydrogen Underground Storage - MOCHyS




01.11.23 - 01.11.26



Total budget

10.000.000 NOK

Research areas

Research group

Research Topics


Research Council of Norway (RCN)



Project members

Na Liu


NORCE, Universitetet i Bergen
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