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Hydrogen Gas Quality for Gas Network Injection: State of the Art of Three Hydrogen Production Methods


The widescale distribution of hydrogen through gas networks is promoted as a viable and cost-efficient option for optimising its application in heat, industry, and transport. It is a key step towards achieving decarbonisation targets in the UK. A key consideration before the injection of hydrogen into the UK gas networks is an assessment of the difference in hydrogen contaminants presence from different production methods. This information is essential for gas regulation and for further purification requirements. This study investigates the level of ISO 14687 Grade D contaminants in hydrogen from steam methane reforming, proton exchange membrane water electrolysis, and alkaline electrolysis. Sampling and analysis of hydrogen were carried out by the National Physical Laboratory following ISO 21087 guidance. The results of analysis indicated the presence of nitrogen in hydrogen from electrolysis, and water, carbon dioxide, and particles in all samples analysed. The contaminants were at levels below or at the threshold limits set by ISO 14687 Grade D. This indicates that the investigated production methods are not a source of contaminants for the eventual utilisation of hydrogen in different applications including fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV’s). The gas network infrastructure will require a similar analysis to determine the likelihood of contamination to hydrogen gas.

Funding source: Cadent HG2V project; this was a Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) by Cadent and was led by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
Countries: United Kingdom

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