Gas Processing & LNG is Produced by Gulf Publishing Holdings LLC

Editorial Comment

H2 blending into gas networks for “greener” methane

Facing regulatory uncertainty, competition from renewable energy and increasing calls for decarbonization, natural gas pipeline operators are studying the blending of hydrogen (H2) into their networks to produce lower-carbon methane and test their equipment’s capability for handling H2/methane blends.

In Europe, Australia and the U.S., trial projects are studying blends of 5%–20% H2 and methane for use in regional gas networks. For example, a group of 23 European gas infrastructure companies plan to build a dedicated, affordable H2 transport network from modified gas infrastructure. This project, referred to as the European Hydrogen Backbone, is set to span 7,200 mi (11,600 km) by 2030 and 24,670 mi (39,700 km) across 21 countries by 2040.

Meanwhile, Australia’s natural gas pipeline owners are looking to future-proof their A$75 B of assets by conducting tests to blend H2 with natural gas. Some Australian states are pushing for a 10% H2 blend in gas pipelines by 2030, which can be safely accommodated without modification to infrastructure or appliances.

The U.S. government’s HyBlend project is examining the long-term effects of H2 at different blends on metal and polymer piping and pipeline materials to determine the costs of upgrading existing pipeline networks to make the shift. Technical challenges of blending H2 into gas networks include the risk of leakage related to possible H2 embrittlement of metal, the risk of explosion from using H2 in appliances at blends of greater than 25%, compatibility issues with existing compressors, and H2’s lower energy density compared with natural gas. Blends of up to 15% H2 are anticipated to require only moderate modifications to infrastructure, but blends of 20% H2 and higher could present more difficult conversion challenges.

Furthermore, Sempra Energy is carrying out a series of demonstration projects in the U.S. to test various blends of H2 in pipeline segments of polyethylene, steel and a combination of the two. Sempra subsidiary Southern California Gas Co. is also conducting a study with technology developed by HyET Hydrogen to strip and compress pure H2 from natural gas blends (FIG. 1).

Editorial Fig 01

FIG. 1. Projected buildout of California H2 supply, 2020–2050. Source: University of California–Irvine.

For more H2 technology and projects news, please subscribe to our new technical journal, H2Tech, and visit GP

Copyright © 2019. All market data is provided by Barchart Solutions. Futures: at least a 10 minute delay. Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice. To see all exchange delays and terms of use, please see disclaimer.

                                  CMEGroup                                     Icelogo


Editorial Comment
-Adrienne Blume
Worldwide, small-scale LNG liquefaction capacity is expected to expand by 30% over the next 4 yr, increasing from 33.9 MMtpy in 2021 to 43.92 MMtpy in 2025.
Industry Focus: LPG sector poised for sustainable fuel transformation
-Gordon Feller
Like virtually all industries, the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sector was challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020.

Throughput optimization for pipelines and gas plants

Register Now

Many processes within oil and gas pipelines and processing plants depend on maintaining specific temperatures and pressures at which the process fluids are liquids or gases. In addition, anytime water is a component in the process fluid hydrates can form and plug piping and vessels. Learn how Sensia’s Throughput optimization solution allows operators, and control systems to “see inside” the process in real time to understand where the facility is operating with respect to critical physical constants, including the phase envelope and hydrate temperature. This insight allows for more stable operation, reduced energy expenditure and associated emissions, and greater facility throughput. Case studies will include controlling methanol injection, managing heaters, virtual sensors for sulfur recovery units and more.

April 1, 2021 10:00 AM CDT

Register Now


Please read our Term and Conditions, Cookies Policy, and Privacy Policy before using the site. All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws.
© 2021 Gulf Publishing Holdings LLC.