Storing Hydrogen Underground

You know, the idea of storing large volumes of industrial hydrogen in an underground cavern is pretty cool, like something Jules Verne would have dreamed up. Air Liquide has recently commissioned the largest hydrogen storage facility in the world, an underground cavern in Beaumont, Texas, in the Gulf Coast region of the US.  The underground storage cavern is 4,900 feet deep and nearly 230 feet in diameter. The facility is capable of holding enough hydrogen to back up a large-scale steam methane reformer (SMR) unit for 30 days.  That’s a LOT of hydrogen.

This makes it the world’s largest hydrogen storage facility.  However, it’s not the only place hydrogen is stored underground.  The Chevron Phillips Clemens Terminal in Texas has stored hydrogen underground since the 1980’s in an old salt mine. That cavern is 2,800 feet below ground in a cylinder 160 feet across and 1000 feet high.  Also, it is not Air Liquide’s only underground gas storage facility.  This new hydrogen cavern follows the commissioning of Air Liquide’s first pure helium storage facility in Germany in July 2016.

Safely processing and managing such large volumes of explosive gas requires a well maintained infrastructure. The key element of good maintenance is a set of accurate controlled documents. Using E*Doc, the electronic document management solution from AIS Software, insures that your critical industrial infrastructure documents are immediately available to any users on any device at any time from anywhere.

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