Speaker: Eduardo Pereyra, PhD
The hydrogen (H2) economy requires the production, storage, and delivery of H2 on demand to consumers. Transportation can be in various modes such as tanker trucks, rail, and pipelines. Amongst these, pipelines are the most economical and provide the opportunity to deliver large quantities safely. H2 poses two inherent challenges compared to Natural Gas (NG) being the lightest and most energetic element. It requires higher transport energy per unit calorific value and leaks easily through the pipes to the environment, causing potential safety concerns. For these two issues, there already exist some cost-prohibitive solutions for a larger economic scale. The existing solutions can be made cost-effective through technological innovations and developments. One such solution is the blending of H2 with NG. However, the limited blending practice is reported on an ad-hoc basis without proper scientific and engineering methodology. Other innovative solutions that will allow the utilization of the existing NG infrastructure are needed, such as coating of pipe inner surface, batch transport, different pipe materials, etc. Boosting of H2 is another area that requires innovative solutions for long-distance pipeline transportation.
The University of Tulsa (TU) has over a half-century of experience in delivering practical solutions to the oil and gas industry in production and transportation areas utilizing several pilot-scale facilities. The TU-developed technologies have been widely accepted and implemented in practice.
In the H2 domain, TU, through US Department of Energy funding, is embarking on a large-scale effort to improve the existing H2 transportation and distribution technologies and develop new ones as deployment-ready in the field utilizing the pilot-scale facilities. The emphasis will be on the utilization of the existing pipeline infrastructure. Initially, we will focus on blending H2 with NG and develop predictive tools to help the safe and economical operation of the pipelines with blends.