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Hydrogen Blending Across the Globe

Hydrogen energy has the potential to reduce society’s reliance on fossil fuels while also decarbonizing a variety of energy sectors. Several initiatives are currently underway to incorporate hydrogen into the energy sector.

Blending natural gas and hydrogen (NG/H2) is one of these advancements. NG/H2 blending, as the name implies, incorporates hydrogen concentrations into existing natural gas pipes to minimize methane’s carbon intensity. This blending transports the hydrogen-natural-gas mixture to its destination. Natural gas and hydrogen blend is still in its early stages of development. Despite this, NG/H2 blending is a viable alternative for energy companies aiming to grow hydrogen use while lowering their environmental effect. Higher hydrogen concentrations will become more prevalent as more demonstrations and research on blending is completed. With other projects in the works across the United States and Europe, the future of NG/H2 mixing seems bright.

Hydrogen Blending project of UK:

HyDeploy began the trial in October 2019 on a private gas network on the Keele University campus, safely distributing a hydrogen-natural gas blend to 100 households and 30 university buildings without requiring any appliance upgrades. The company is looking forward to publishing a detailed report on the project’s findings later this year.
Blending hydrogen into the natural gas network is a vital step toward achieving Net Zero by 2050 in the United Kingdom.

Turkey initiative for Hydrogen Blending:

Turkey For sustainable energy, a new facility in Konya blends hydrogen and natural gas. With a new facility in the central province of Konya, Turkey will blend hydrogen, which is promoted as a clean, efficient, and sustainable energy source, with natural gas. The plant, which will be a first for Turkey, will supply cleaner fuels to Turkish households. Dönmez said hydrogen would be pumped into natural gas at a particular rate, increasing its performance, ahead of the opening.
In the medium term, the new form of clean energy will proliferate throughout Turkey. The current step is part of Turkey’s pursuit for alternate energy sources to reduce its reliance on imported energy.

With a length of around 156,000 kilometers, Turkey possesses Europe’s sixth largest natural gas distribution network (96,900 miles). Natural gas is used in 81 different provinces. The current natural gas network benefits 82 percent of the population. Natural gas consumption in the country is estimated to be over 45 billion cubic meters per year (bcm).

Australia-National Reforms to Support Clean Hydrogen and Biogas Blending:

In August, Australia’s energy ministers agreed to speed up measures to encourage investment in projects that will assist the country’s clean hydrogen and biomethane sectors scale up.

The purpose of these reforms is to guarantee regulation permits for safe, low-level blending of hydrogen, biomethane and other clean gases into existing gas distribution networks and for use in gas appliances in Australian businesses and residences.

The collaborations will gather input on what changes to the National Gas Law and the National Energy Retail Law are required.

“These reforms will encourage even more innovative projects to be rolled out across Australia by ensuring regulation does not impede investment,” said Angus Taylor, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction.

Consumers will also be sufficiently protected if these low-emission solutions are used. Blending biomethane and hydrogen into our gas networks is a critical step toward increasing domestic demand and fostering the growth of these new sectors. This scale is required to meet the Technology Investment Roadmap’s ‘H2 under $2’ aim and become a major worldwide leader in clean hydrogen by 2030.”The Morrison government is spending more than $1.2 billion to make Australia a global leader in clean hydrogen production and export, with permitting hydrogen blending a top objective in the National Hydrogen Strategy.

The government is also working on an Emissions Reduction Fund that will credit the emissions avoided by substituting biomethane for natural gas and has stated that implementing a comparable approach for hydrogen blending will be a priority in 2022.

AES Patented technology for Lost Hydrogen Extraction:

PowerTap Hydrogen Capital Corp has announced that its subsidiary Advanced Electrolyzer Systems, developed by Pinakin Patel and his team, has demonstrated significant results in the new, novel, and critical area of hydrogen recovery from natural gas pipelines. The company has been a significant recipient of Federal grant awards for its many verticals. Without making any significant changes to current infrastructure, the hydrogen contained in the pipeline will have a ten percent hydrogen content by volume. Our cutting-edge technology offers a cost-effective way to recover this “lost” hydrogen for higher-value applications in the growing green transportation industry.

Excess renewable electricity can be stored as hydrogen in natural gas pipelines using the proprietary AES method. There is currently no cost-effective way to extract this hydrogen for commercial purposes.

This would represent significant progress toward the hydrogen infrastructure needed for clean and green electric automobiles across the United States and Europe. For every billion cubic feet of natural gas containing 10% hydrogen, 100 million cubic feet of hydrogen is produced. This is enough hydrogen to power an electric vehicle, bus, truck, and rail economy in a small town. Our system offers a modular, scalable, and low-cost solution for safely and efficiently extracting hydrogen from existing natural gas infrastructure.
EUSTREAM Transporting blend of Hydrogen with NG from 2023:

EUSTREAM, the operator of the Slovak gas transmission system, is preparing its network to transport renewable and low-carbon gases. As early as the end of 2023, the business expects to make changes to its network to make it technologically ready for blending up to 5% hydrogen with transported natural gas.

To make this viable, we must invest in new technologies that allow us to measure hydrogen in transit. Within the next two years, EUSTREAM intends to deploy additional devices across its network, making the Slovak grid ready to work with hydrogen. EUSTREAM also aims to build its own photovoltaic plant on site to manufacture green hydrogen and then use it to fuel compressors, a first for a TSO. EUSTREAM will take advantage of the unique advantage of the Slovak transmission network, which comprises of numerous parallel pipelines connecting Ukraine, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and, in the not-too-distant future, Poland. We plan to dedicate a portion of the transmission network to 100% hydrogen transport as part of the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative. Depending on the actual development of demand and hydrogen capacities, the modernized corridor of several parallel pipelines will allow the combined transport of natural gas and hydrogen.

Wales and West Injecting Hydrogen to Grid in Swindon:

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has given Wales & West Utilities permission to inject gas containing up to 1% hydrogen into its gas network in Swindon, marking the first time the HSE has allowed natural gas with a high hydrogen level to be used in the national network.

ABSL, which will inject Bio-substitute Natural Gas (BioSNG) into the current gas network at their plant in Swindon, is collaborating with the gas emergency and pipeline service. This will directly reduce carbon emissions by up to 5,000 tonnes for over 2,500 local households. The BioSNG produced at the plant will contain up to 1.0 percent hydrogen, necessitating an exemption from standard criteria.

Without affecting our customers or their appliances, this will help reduce carbon emissions from local homes today. The decade of the 2020s must be one of delivery, in which we put the research and development work on hydrogen into practice. This initiative will support ambitious plans to convert communities to hydrogen, assist heavy industry in decarbonizing, and meet the government’s hydrogen for home heating goals across the UK.
The company joined with Britain’s other gas network companies earlier this year as part of the Energy Networks Association’s plan – Britain’s Hydrogen Network Plan – which laid out the specifics of the work needed to make Britain’s hydrogen ambitions a reality, including blending up to 20% hydrogen into local gas grids by 2023 and converting villages to run entirely on hydrogen by 2025.

SoCal Gas to Test Hydrogen Blending:

At its Engineering Analysis Center and Centralized Training Facility, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) revealed that it is blending hydrogen to fuel a domestic system and appliances. This is the next phase in the process of going out of the lab and into the natural gas grid, with a focus on safety and training. SoCalGas is one of the first utilities in the US to conduct a controlled field test of the impact of a hydrogen blend on natural gas infrastructure and equipment. The residential natural gas appliances are compatible with up to a 20% hydrogen blend, according to preliminary results of testing that began earlier this summer.

Separate analyses by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and many international industry studies have also suggested that hydrogen may be blended into existing distribution pipelines serving end users. SoCalGas is involved in more than ten hydrogen pilot projects, including a collaboration with HyET Hydrogen of the Netherlands on technology that could revolutionize hydrogen distribution and enable the rapid spread of hydrogen fueling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

The technique would allow hydrogen to be transferred simply and cheaply via the natural gas pipeline system, then extracted and compressed at hydrogen FCEV fueling stations.
In addition, SoCalGas will begin construction on its award-winning H2 Hydrogen Home later this year. The H2 Hydrogen Home, the first of its kind in the United States, intends to demonstrate how carbon-free gas created from renewable electricity may be utilized in pure form or as part of a blend to power future clean energy systems.

20% Hydrogen Blend for Consumers demonstrated by HyDeploy:

The first phase of a groundbreaking green energy initiative, which could help Britain cut carbon emissions considerably and pave the way for a low-carbon hydrogen economy, was released today.

In contrast to natural gas, which is responsible for over 30% of carbon emissions, hydrogen creates no carbon dioxide when utilized, making it a feasible alternative for heating homes and businesses to meet the government’s goal of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. Natural gas heats 8 out of 10 of our houses in the UK, so it’s an energy we’re familiar with. Adopting hydrogen blending across gas networks would save enough carbon to remove 2.5 million automobiles from our roads, putting us closer to Net Zero.

“I would like congratulate the consumers at Keele University for their willingness to participate in this trial,” said Steve Fraser, Cadent’s Chief Executive.

HyDeploy is a ground-breaking collaboration that has proved that consumers can receive up to 20% hydrogen blended with natural gas safely and without having to make any adjustments to their existing appliances. The trial’s success cleared the way for a larger pilot project in Winlaton, near Gateshead, where 668 homes, a school, and some small businesses have been getting hydrogen mixed gas over a Northern Gas Networks (NGN) network since early August 2021.

If hydrogen and natural gas were blended at a rate equal to HyDeploy across the UK, it could save roughly 6 million tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of removing 2.5 million cars off the road — all without causing any interruption to families.

This phase of HyDeploy will add to the body of knowledge about the feasibility of blending hydrogen into the UK’s gas network as a first step toward decarbonizing heat.

Hydrogen Homes:

The Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan officially opened the UK’s first residences with hydrogen-only domestic gas appliances on Thursday 15th July at Northern Gas Networks’ innovation center in Low Thornley, Gateshead.
Unlike natural gas, which accounts for more than 30% of carbon emissions, hydrogen emits no carbon at the time of use. The hydrogen house will provide members of the public a view into a hydrogen-fueled future for the first time, allowing them to engage with a variety of hydrogen-fueled appliances such as boilers, hobs, stoves, fires, and a barbeque for the first time. The hydrogen homes will be available for school, college, and university group visits with the goal of educating children and young adults about house energy requirements and how they will be satisfied in the future. The houses will also inform educational visitors about employment opportunities in the rising green economy and in STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Hydrogen could help the government meet its goal of removing the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050, with the industry possibly providing up to 8,000 employments in Britain’s industrial heartlands and beyond by 2030, and up to 100,000 jobs by 2050.