Exploring subsurface hydrogen storage to reduce CO2 emissions

Civil and Environmental Engineering

By Jeremy Henderson

Lauren Beckingham, W. Allen and Martha Reed Associate Professor of civil and environmental engineering received her latest Early Career honor from the Department of Energy (DOE), which awarded $749,999 toward her research into subsurface hydrogen storage.

The project is a promising means of large-scale, long-term energy storage that could boost renewable energy and reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions.

Beckingham, who in 2019 received the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award for research into improving simulation of mineral reaction rates, is the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s second DOE Early Career Award winner and only the third at Auburn University.

“A lot of great people apply for these programs and there are not a lot of awards, so I’m humbled and thankful for the support of a great group of students and postdocs, colleagues and mentors,” Beckingham said.

The five-year project will support laboratory experiments considering H2-brine-mineral interactions at field site conditions, elevated temperatures and pressures.

“Subsurface hydrogen storage in geologic formations is an emerging technology and there is much to be learned to understand the security, success and efficiency of these systems,” Beckingham said.

“We hope to fill some of these knowledge gaps by considering potential interactions between injected H2, formation fluids and earth materials,” she added.