CSIRO leading natural hydrogen research in Australia

Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO has been supporting Australia’s energy and mining industries with research for over 100 years. As the world become increasingly fascinated with natural hydrogen, our chemists, geologists and engineers are combining their expertise to design and carry out bespoke research using bleeding edge methodologies and instruments.

We partner with Australian and international industries, universities and governments to expand the global knowledge base on the formation, discovery, storage, and, potentially, generation of hydrogen underground. Here are some examples of our research.

Unlocking hydrogen systems

To bridge existing knowledge gaps in the domain of hydrogen generation by natural sources, the project systematically explores critical hydrogen generation processes. We combine field exploration of hydrogen seeps with lab work to quantify the role of these generation processes within the crustal hydrogen cycle. In the lab, we employ multi-physical characterization to assess rocks that have the potential to generate or trap hydrogen.

We are developing innovative workflows to identify potential hydrogen seeps in the field and to model hydrogen migration in the subsurface. These initiatives include the monitoring of hydrogen concentrations at a depth of one metre over a specified timeframe and at designated locations using advanced multi-gas sensing equipment. 

Using machine learning to determine optimal hydrogen generation locations

We are using the Australian National cuttings collection to search for Hydrogen Generation Optimal Locations (HGOLs). As geological lithotypes are critical for screening for HGOLs and subsurface energy storage, a rapid spectroscopic logging and imaging scanner (HyLogger) will be used to obtain both optical images and spectral data of rock chips/cuttings, the only continuous record of lithotypes extracted from the subsurface.

Recently developed AI/ML and computer vision algorithms will be trained, validated, and tested to automatically extract lithological information from the digitised database. 

Monitoring techniques for surface seepage of hydrogen

We have successfully applied soil-gas sampling techniques to test for the presence of natural hydrogen seeps in Australia. We are further developing our monitoring techniques and onsite testing to measure hydrogen circulation in the subsurface. 
Please contact us if you would like to explore ways that we can work together.

The CSIRO are proud sponsors of H-Nat and look forward to talking to you at their booth in the exhibit hall.