Existing Pipeline Materials and the Transition to Hydrogen
Proceedings Publication Date
Neil Gallon
Neil Gallon, Roy van Elteren
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The climate emergency is one of the biggest challenges humanity must face in the 21st century. We all need to be involved in the process of moving towards a decarbonized economy. At the same time, the advancing global energy transition faces many challenges when it comes to ensuring a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy supply. For this reason, gas will continue to play an important role in the future energy system. An emphasis on decarbonizing the existing gas infrastructure will inevitably lead to greater penetration of greener fuels, such as hydrogen, ultimately produced from renewable energy. While the replacement of natural gas with hydrogen and the introduction of hydrogen into modern natural gas transmission and distribution networks creates challenges, there is nothing new or inherently impossible about the concept of hydrogen pipelines. Indeed, more than 4,000 kilometers of pipelines are currently in operation. These pipelines, however, were (almost) all built in accordance with specific hydrogen codes, which tend to be much more restrictive in terms of material properties than their natural gas equivalents. This in turn means that the conversion of natural gas pipelines made from “standard” grades can be challenging.

This paper will investigate the role of material properties in terms of susceptibility to hydrogen damage as part of a Hydrogen Framework that includes characterizing the material properties of existing natural gas pipelines through ILI based on ROSEN’s Pipeline DNA process. It will describe the application of this framework to develop a “hydrogen-ready” pipeline in order to help enable the safe, economic and successful introduction of hydrogen into the natural gas network.

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