Air Liquide Hydrogen Storage Cavern
Spindletop, Texas, United States
Client: Air Liquide Large Industries U.S., LP
Parsons Brinckerhoff Role: Design, Project Management
Parsons Brinckerhoff, the leading designer and constructor of underground hydrocarbon storage caverns and related facilities in the United States, provides design, construction management, and facility operations services to the hydrocarbon storage industry worldwide. Among other projects, the firm is currently working on a hydrogen storage cavern for Air Liquide at the Spindletop Dome near Beaumont in southeast Texas.
The Air Liquide storage cavern will be one of three commercial hydrogen storage caverns in the United States. The cavern is designed to have a working capacity of 3.0 billion cubic feet (85 million cubic meters) of hydrogen. Another 2.0 billion cubic feet (57 million cubic meters) of cushion gas will be required to ensure that the cavern is structurally stable during operations.
Parsons Brinckerhoff prepared feasibility studies and front-end engineering design for the project. The design included thermal modeling of cavern operations to determine final cavern volumes and capacities, using software developed by Parsons Brinckerhoff. The software, originally developed for thermodynamic modeling of natural gas storage caverns, was modified for this project to incorporate the use of hydrogen. The firm also permitted the storage cavern with the Texas Railroad Commission.
Parsons Brinckerhoff recently completed drilling of a 16-inch diameter cavern well, which was completed to a depth of 5,400 feet (1,646 meters) in less than 113 days. The firm is acting as operator and engineer for Air Liquide during solution mining of the cavern. At the end of the solution mining process, Parsons Brinckerhoff will provide project management and engineering services to change the wellhead and well casings to a material that is compatible with hydrogen service, and prepare the cavern for operation. The firm will also provide engineering support during the initial injection of hydrogen into the cavern and subsequent brine withdrawal.