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Engineers Are Building Huge Salt Caves To Store Huge Amounts of Hydrogen

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Mechanics: Scientists are going back to the salt mines, literally, to find a revolutionary new way to store large quantities of hydrogen for energy. Proponents say this could be a step toward unlocking hydrogen for renewables — something that could change the energy landscape if it were resolved. “The project would initially have enough energy to power 150,000 households for one year and is scheduled to be operational by 2025,” Fuel Cell Works reports. “It is being managed by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), a maker of gas turbines, and Magnum Development, which owns salt caverns for liquid fuel storage.” This works by basically repurposing existing, enormous caves to store reserves of hydrogen as well as other fuels.

Salt in particular makes a great medium for storing and then continuing to generate green hydrogen. CNBC explains how the caves are used to store and generate hydrogen: “Caverns can be created in salt domes by drilling into the salt dome and injecting the rock with water, which dissolves the salt. The resulting brine is extracted, leaving a large cavity. The next step is storing hydrogen in the cavern. Hydrogen electrolyzers can convert water into hydrogen by using renewable energy from solar and other sources. The hydrogen can then be stored, and reconverted to electricity when needed.” Fuel Cell Works reports that while these caves are in the U.S., the major push for salt cave storage is in Europe.

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