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Underground hydrogen storage: a mathematical study of hydrogen multiphase flow in porous media

   School of Energy and Electronic Engineering

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  Dr Jalal Foroozesh  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering and will be supervised by Dr Jalal Foroozesh.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Develop a pore network model for hydrogen/ cushion gas /brine systems
  • Verify the developed model against available data from the literature
  • Obtain relative permeability and capillary pressure data of hydrogen/ cushion gas /brine systems using the developed model
  • Design an optimised hydrogen storage project using the developed model
  • Publish the results in high impact journals

Project description

In view of net zero carbon emission, hydrogen as a clean energy has been receiving great attention by the energy sector. Hydrogen is also considered as an energy carrier when it is used to store electricity via converting electrical energy to hydrogen through electrolysis. Hydrogen as an energy carrier is important in energy management where fluctuated renewable based electricity generated by wind or solar PV can be converted to hydrogen and stored. Hydrogen contains high amount of energy per unit mass rather than per unit volume. As such, in order to use hydrogen practically, it is needed to store enough amount of hydrogen. Storage of hydrogen in subsurface formations provides a unique opportunity to store a large volume of hydrogen safely with flexibility to be withdrawn when needed at peak time. Hydrogen can be injected in saline aquifers or depleted oil and gas reservoirs following injection of nitrogen or carbon dioxide as cushion gas and be withdrawn on demand. Nevertheless, the engineering design of underground hydrogen storage projects are complicated and uncertain. Simulation and prediction of the project need information of multiphase flow in porous media such as relative permeability and capillary pressure data while their measurements in the laboratory are quite expensive due to safety concerns and complexity of the measurement procedures. Additionally, the storage project is cyclic (injection and withdrawal cycles) that adds more complications to study the multiphase physics of hydrogen-cushion gas-water/oil systems in the laboratory. As such, this PhD research aims to apply pore networking modelling as a mathematical tool to estimate the multiphase properties such as relative permeability and capillary pressure of hydrogen/ cushion gas /brine systems by utilizing Ansys Fluent/COMSOL simulators or Python programming. This research delivers an efficient and economical tool to obtain crucial multiphase parameters needed for prediction of hydrogen storage projects. 

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements

You should have deep knowledge of physics of porous media including numerical modelling of multiphase flow in underground formations. Having relevant publications in scholarly journals is essential for this PhD position. Experience of using simulation software such as Ansys Fluent/COMSOL or Python programming for modelling of multiphase flow in porous media is desirable.

How to Apply

We encourage you to contact Dr Jalal Foroozesh ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code below.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Energy Engineering PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: SENE5701023.

Funding Notes

Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK students only).
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