UK govt backs hydrogen storage project

A collaboration led by the University of Bristol has received a £7.7 million grant from the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEISNet )’s Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) to create ground-breaking hydrogen storage.

Together, the University, EDF UK, UKAEA, and Urenco will create a hydrogen storage demonstrator where hydrogen is absorbed on a bed of depleted uranium and may be released when needed for usage. The hydrogen is in the reversible but stable “metal hydride” state when it is stored. The substance made from recycled depleted uranium is utilized in counterbalance weights for airplanes and other uses.

This hydrogen storage method will allow for increases in energy storage density and is intended for longer-term energy storage.

In order to solve one of the biggest problems facing the UK power grid, new energy storage technologies are required. This will allow excess energy produced by low-carbon generation sources to be stored and utilised when it is needed most. Electrolysis is a process that turns electrical energy into hydrogen, which can either be stored for later use or transformed back into electrical energy using a fuel cell.

This pilot-scale HyDUS (Hydrogen in Depleted Uranium Storage) demonstration will be created by a group lead by EDF as part of the Longer Duration Energy Storage demonstrator program at the UKAEA’s Culham Campus.