Quartz-H2-Brine Bacterium Wettability under Realistic Geo-Conditions: Towards Geological Hydrogen Storage

Adnan Aftab, Ahmed Al-Yaseri*, Alexis Nzila, Jafar Al Hamad, Abduljamiu Olalekan Amao, Mohammad Sarmadivaleh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this study, quartz substrates were incubated in sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) culture for 21 days at room temperature. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to quantify the bacterium effect, i.e., organic metabolite acids on the wetting behavior of the mineral surface. We examined the wettability of the quartz substrate before and after microorganism effects under reservoir conditions, i.e., 0 to 27 MPa pressures and 50 °C temperature. Nevertheless, there is no study reported to date for real geologic conditions, including for hydrogen-bacteria-rock wettability, which is proven to determine storage capacities, withdrawal rates, and containment security. Our findings reveal that the pH value of quartz dipped in the nutrient solution without SRB did not change meaningfully for 21 days. However, it significantly reduced from 7.58 to 5.98 with SRB. These microorganisms produce H2S, release the organic metabolite acids, and change the wettability of the mineral. The wettability of quartz surface changes from 4.2° to 14.4°, i.e., a 10.2% increase at 27 MPa and 50 °C after the bacterium effect. FTIR indicates the hydroxyl, amine, and carboxyl group (i.e., acetic acid) spectra in the microorganism solution. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) shows that the concentrations of sulfate (Formula Presented), aluminum (Al), iron (Fe), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) have significantly reduced after the SRB effect. Overall, strong water-wet quartz shifted to less water-wet quartz after the microorganism effect under the reservoir conditions. SRB slightly reduce the residual trapping effect. Hence, this process might have enhanced the withdrawing efficiency of H2 in high brine-saturated sandstone reservoir rock under the microbial activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5623-5631
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number7
StatePublished - 6 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author (A.A.) thanks the Government of Australia for providing him Ph.D. RTP scholarship at Curtin University, Australia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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