Mobile menu icon
Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

The University of Manchester at Harwell

Subsurface energy and storage

The transition of energy supply from mainly fossil sources to low carbon energy sources is essential for future environmental sustainability.


Principal Investigator

PhD students

  • Heather Braid - Multi-scale and multi-approach investigation of subsurface hydrogen storage
  • Camilo Cristian Salazar Silva - Assessment of the potential of the Sherwood Sandstone, Southern North Sea, for energy storage
  • Xin Xhong - Nano-scale gas transport in clay-rich rocks
  • Ziyu Zhang - Experimental Studies on the thermal-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes in carbon sequestration, a case study of Teesside

Large-scale and long-term geological subsurface storage has arisen to meet high-fluctuation seasonal energy demand.

Here we apply synchrotron characterisation methods (e.g. imaging, spectroscopy, and scattering) to study the complex microstructure of the target rocks, the flow behaviours of the fluids used in energy storage (e.g. H2, heat, compressed air, synthetic methane) or disposal (e.g. CO2, nuclear waste) under subsurface pressure and temperature, the chemical reactions of these fluids with host rocks, and the location and form of residual liquids or gases trapped in the rocks.

This research spans a range of length scales from sub-nano to mm-scale. It also combines with laboratorial imaging (SEM, TEM) and measurements (e.g. adsorption, permeability, ICP-MS) improve the understanding of subsurface energy storage, in order to increase the energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact.

We work closely with research councils (e.g. NERC, EPSRC) and industrial partners (e.g. BP, Shell) to push scientific frontiers and improve industrial applications of subsurface energy storage.