PhD position at the École des Mines – Paris

Thermodynamics of hydrogen storage in salt cavities:
Speciality: Geosciences and Geoenergy
Doctoral school: GRNE – Géosciences, Ressources Naturelles et Environnement
Research unity: Centre of Geosciences – Fontainebleau France
Key words: Thermodynamics, mechanics of solids, numerical modelization

Hydrogen is considered as a renewable energy resource that gives promising perspectives and presents numerous advantages on the energy and on the environment future. This gas can be produced in different ways, i.e. gasification of carbon. It can be also stored in large underground salt cavities under high pressure values, which is considered as a viable solution.
Despite the experience feedback on the thermodynamic storage of gas, the problem of H2 storage in salt cavities is different from other problems of underground storage related to other gases like methane CH4 or carbon dioxide CO2. This is attributed to the large mobility of hydrogen induced by its very small molecular length, and its potential reactivity with other chemical species that can be present in the storage environment.
The centre of geosciences and the centre of thermodynamics and processes (CTP) of Mines ParisTech, associated with academic and industrial partners, are involved in a scientific research that seeks to better understand the mechanisms taking place during hydrogen storage in deep underground salt cavities. This involvement also includes the development of numerical modelization tools dedicated to evaluate the behaviour of such a complicated system of storage, as well as its economic viability and environmental impact.
The proposed PhD subject serves this framework, it aims at adapting the already-existing simulation tools for seasonal storage of natural gas, to the problem of H2 storage in salt cavities with fast cycles of injection and withdrawal. This happens by firstly forming the laws, emitting from laboratory measurements, governing the interaction of H2 with the salt rock and the brines in the body and around the cavity. These laws will be then implemented in multi-scale models that can describe and predict the thermo-hydro-mechanical and geochemical behaviours of hydrogen in salt cavities and their ambiances. From one side, these models will be applied to investigate the improvements compared to usual/common approaches, and from another side, to evaluate the mechanical response of cavities to fast cycles of exploitation, as well as to identify typical scenarios of H2 storage and to assess the associated risk.

Candidates are expected to have sufficient experience in the domains of solid and fluid mechanics, heat transfer and thermodynamics of gas. Experience in modelization and simulation is also required. This work will gather between experiments and simulations, enthusiasm for the experimental work is preferred.

Contact: Murad AbuAisha

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