SwRI adds capability for testing hydrogen and natural gas blends

March 13, 2022 |

In Texas, Southwest Research Institute upgraded its test equipment to allow for testing the effects of transporting natural gas and hydrogen blends in the same pipeline. The latest capability will help clients research hydrogen-based solutions to understand if infrastructure for climate-warming greenhouse gases can be transitioned to handle more sustainable resources.

“Hydrogen is an excellent alternative to existing fossil fuels such as natural gas and has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the energy sector and achieve a sustainable energy future,” said SwRI Research Engineer Swanand Bhagwat.

Using hydrogen in place of methane-based natural gas in appliances or carbon dioxide-emitting fuels in combustion engines at first seems like a great solution for decarbonizing our economy and reducing potential climate effects. However, utilizing pure hydrogen in residential applications and power generation comes with many challenges. For example, hydrogen embrittlement can cause leaks and failures in metal parts. Differences in the combustion characteristics of hydrogen mean that a pure hydrogen stream cannot be used in power generation with existing equipment. Also, building new pipelines to transport pure hydrogen is not the most viable solution due to cost and safety concerns.


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Category: Research

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