Deep-seated rock masses comprising of a number of natural fractures represent a complex system, which may offer useful space and media for environmentally conscious energy and material circulation systems. Our research is focused on the development of a design methodology for subsurface energy and material circulation systems such as engineered geothermal energy extraction systems (HDR/HWR systems), geological sequestration of CO2, and high-level nuclear waste underground disposal. The research topics include characterization of natural fracture distributions, rock fracture mechanics, numerical modeling of complex mass flow, rock/water chemical interactions, etc.
The research of this laboratory aims at the establishment of a new type of hydrogen energy systems, which is expected to play an important role for the future sustainable development. The use of hydrogen may cause inherent materials problems such as hydrogen embrittlement and hydrogen corrosion cracking. Thus, our research team is performing project-based research, with objective of ensuring the reliability and durability of hydrogen energy systems particularly with respect to material strength. We are also conducting experimental and numerical simulation research for developing a new class of energy materials on the basis of fracture and deterioration mechanism.