Hydrogen flooding of a coal core: effect on coal swelling

Stefan Iglauer, Hamed Akhondzadeh, Hussein Abid, Adriana Paluszny, Alireza Keshavarz, Muhammad Ali, Ausama Giwelli, Lionel Esteban, Joel Sarout, Maxim Lebedev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Hydrogen is a clean fuel which has the potential to drastically decarbonize the energy supply chain. However, hydrogen storage is currently a key challenge; one solution to this problem is hydrogen geo-storage, with which very large quantities of H2 can be stored economically. Possible target formations are deep coal seams, and coal permeability is a key parameter which determines how fast H2 can be injected and withdrawn again. However, it is well known that gas injection into coal can lead to coal swelling, which drastically reduces permeability. We thus injected H2 gas into a coal core and measured dynamic permeability, while imaging the core via x-ray micro-tomography at reservoir conditions. Importantly, no changes in coal cleat morphology or permeability were observed. We conclude that H2 geo-storage in deep coal seams is feasible from a fundamental petro-physical perspective; this work thus aids in the large-scale implementation of a hydrogen economy.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
StatePublished - Mar 7 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-03-10
Acknowledgements: The measurements were performed using the CT system courtesy of the National Geosequestration Laboratory (NGL) of Australia. The NGL is a collaboration between Curtin University, CSIRO, and the University of Western Australia established to conduct and deploy critical research and development to enable commercial-scale carbon storage options. Funding for this facility was provided by the Australian Federal Government. We would also like to thank the Australian Research Council for financial support (ARC grantDP220102907). Adriana Paluszny thanks the Royal Society for funding through fellowship UF160443. Finally,we would also like to thank Bureau Veritas MineralPty Ltd for performing the petrographic, ash content, ultimate and proximate analyses.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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