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New hydrogen pipelines


Technology Description

The construction of inland hydrogen transmission pipelines is regulated by the ASME B31.12 standard and although it is a mature technology, the characteristics of existing hydrogen pipelines differ from the features required for new pipelines. Currently, the largest hydrogen pipelines are 18 inches in diameter, whereas new hydrogen pipelines could be up to 36-48 inches in diameter; low steel grades are used (generally below X52), whereas higher steel grades may be preferred in new pipelines to reduce the amount of steel required without compromising integrity; and existing pipelines operate under static loads, whereas future pipelines should be able to withstand pressure variations due to cyclic loading and linepack. In addition, there is no standard for the construction of offshore hydrogen pipelines and research is underway to identify criteria that will ensure the highest level of safety while reducing costs.

Relevance for Net Zero

As low-emission hydrogen production volumes increase and transport distances expand, a network of hydrogen pipelines will need to be developed to connect areas with good resources for production to storage sites and demand centres. Pipeline networks with large transmission trunklines can efficiently transport large volumes of hydrogen over hundreds of kilometres.

Key Countries

Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain, United States

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