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Hydrogen Quality in Used Natual Gas Pipelines: An Experimental Investigation of Contaminants According to ISO 14687:2019 Standard


The transport of hydrogen in used natural gas pipelines is a strategic key element of a pan-European hydrogen infrastructure. At the same time, accurate knowledge of the hydrogen quality is essential in order to be able to address a wide application range. Therefore, an experimental investigation was carried out to find out which contaminants enter into the hydrogen from the used natural gas pipelines. Pipeline elements from the high pressure gas grid of Austria were exposed to hydrogen. Steel pipelines built between 1960 and 2018, which were operated with odorised and pure natural gas, were examined. The hydrogen was analysed according to requirements of ISO14687: 2019 Grade D measurement standard. The results show that based on age, odorization and sediments, different contimenants are introduced. Odorants, hydrocarbons but also sulphur compounds, ammonia and halogenated hydrogen compounds were identified. Sediments are identified as the main source of impurities. However, the concentrations of the introduced contaminants were low (6 nmol/mol to 10 μmol/mol). Quality monitoring with a wide range of detection options for different components (sulphur, halogenated compounds, hydrocarbons, ammonia and atmospheric components) is crucial for real operation. The authors deduce that a Grade A hydrogen quality can be safely achieved in real operation.

Funding source: Part of this work was conducted as part of the HyCentA COMET Centre and funded within COMET – Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies – by BMK, BMAW as well as the co-financing federal provinces Styria, Upper Austria, Tyrol and Vienna.
Countries: Austria

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