The Section Geological Storage researches whether and how the geological subsurface could be safely and sustainably used for storage of matter and energy. The research portfolio focusses on the permanent and also temporary or dynamic geological storage of CO2 in the frame of CCUS (“carbon capture usage and storage”) and “power-to-gas” concepts and the geological storage of hydrogen. The Section researches and develops new monitoring technologies for subsurface storage in porous rocks and studies the interactions between rocks and fluids.
Together with national and international partners we run and operate the first European on-shore pilot site for CO2 storage at Ketzin/Havel (Federal State of Brandenburg) providing a world-class research infrastructure. Here, for the first time, the complete life-cycle of a CO2 storage site has been researched. We were able to show that safe long-term geological storage of CO2 is possible. This provides a technology that could be implemented with quantities necessary to meet the required reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions. A strong focus of our work lays on the different geochemical and geophysical monitoring techniques.
Central is not only the combination of different methods as geoelectrics, seismics, temperature and pressure monitoring and fluid and gas sampling but also the combination of different layouts with different spatial and temporal resolution within each method. Due to our strong integration in national and international networks we are also scientifically involved in other storage sites in e.g. Canada, Norway, and Australia. Within running projects, our expertise gained in the frame of permanent geological storage of CO2 is transferred to other usages of the geological subsurface as e.g. storage of hydrogen in porous rocks or salt caverns.