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Microbiological Opportunities and Challenges of Hydrogen Underground Storage - MOCHyS

Microbiological Opportunities and Challenges of Hydrogen Underground Storage - MOCHyS

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MOCHyS aims to understand the role and influence microorganisms can have on hydrogen, which is stored in the underground. MOCHyS addresses specifically the option of using existing gas reservoirs as hydrogen storage sites. These porous reservoirs are abundant on the 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 diverse microbial communities and that hydrogen is not only a perfect energy carrier for human industry but also for microbial metabolisms.

MOCHyS will generate knowledge on the question as to whether and which kind of microbes will be active players during hydrogen underground storage and whether all potential sites will be affected by microbial activity. The novel results will be essential for the future hydrogen economy and decision makers to realistically evaluate storage sites, develop screening criteria and specific monitoring tools.

Developing Norway's energy system in a sustainable direction requires a variety of innovative energy system solutions 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. To have a secure supply for hydrogen throughout the year, it is essential to have flexible, large-scale energy storage solutions to balance expected fluctuations of energy-production and -demand. Underground storage has been proposed as a favorable solution for mid-to long-term storage, due to the large available volumes.

The key question in underground hydrogen storage we want to answer is: When the subsurface microbes are in contact with the injected hydrogen, will they start consuming it?

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UHS is a concept for large-scale energy storage where excess hydrogen is pumped and stored in different deep geological formations. Salt caverns, aquifers and depleted hydrocarbon deposits (gas reservoirs) in the North Sea can be used for this type of storage. There the hydrogen can stay for days, weeks or months, until it is needed. When it is pumped back, it can be either directly used or transformed into electricity later. This means, UHS is like a big battery in 1000-meter depth! Also, it is very safe because the storage formations are so deep and oxygen-free, there is no risk for humans or nature.

Project facts


Microbiological Opportunities and Challenges of Hydrogen Underground Storage - MOCHyS




15.11.23 - 01.11.26



Total budget

10.000.000 NOK

Research areas

Research group

Research Topics


Research Council of Norway (RCN)



Project members

Donato Giovannelli
Hadi Hajibeygi
Na Liu


University of Bergen, Technical University of Delft, Univeristy of Naples Frederico II
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