La Française d’Énergie (FDE), an independent energy producer with a negative carbon footprint, has made a significant discovery of natural hydrogen in the Folschviller region of the Lorraine mining basin.
The finding of high concentrations of white hydrogen, the native form of hydrogen found in its natural state, has opened up new possibilities for the exploitation of this strategic resource in the context of the ecological transition.
The discovery was made as part of the Regalor research program, a collaborative effort between FDE, the University of Lorraine, and the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research). Measurements taken at the Folschviller well in Moselle have revealed substantial amounts of dissolved hydrogen in the Carboniferous aquifer at various depths.
The research conducted under the Regalor project has shown that the fluids in the carboniferous formations of the Lorraine mining basin are highly enriched in hydrogen. At a depth of 1,093 meters, the concentration was measured at 15%, while at 3,000 meters, it was estimated to be as high as 98%. These findings indicate the significant potential of white hydrogen in the region.
To further explore the exploitation potential of this resource, FDE has applied for an exclusive research permit for the exploration of natural hydrogen in the Lorraine mining basin. The permit covers an area of 2,254 km² in the departments of Moselle and Meurthe-et-Moselle. FDE plans to conduct additional hydrogen concentration measurements in three existing wells, which will contribute to a better understanding of the formation, transfer, and production mechanisms of white hydrogen in the geological context of Lorraine. Subsequently, a pilot site will be established to initiate the production and local recovery of natural hydrogen in the Grand-Est region.
This project aligns with EDF’s development strategy in the hydrogen ecosystem of the Greater Region, which encompasses Grand Est, Wallonia, Luxembourg, Saarland, and Rhineland-Palatine. The long-term goal is to provide ecologically and economically competitive local energy production to these territories. The project’s success will also benefit from the upcoming commissioning of MosaHYc, a cross-border pipeline led by GRTgaz and CREOS, enabling the transport of hydrogen.
The discovery of a natural hydrogen deposit in the Lorraine mining basin marks an important step in advancing the use of hydrogen as a clean energy source. White hydrogen, directly available in its natural state, offers potential advantages for the ecological transition. By harnessing this resource and developing local energy production, FDE and its partners aim to contribute to the sustainable development of the region and create a competitive hydrogen ecosystem.