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Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby GHung » Thu 02 Jan 2020, 23:47:35

Interesting projects underway in the UK; use surplus wind energy (mainly at night) to create hydrogen which is blended at 20% into the natural gas system via " a special injection and mixing unit which can be carefully controlled and monitored to ensure that the hydrogen and natural gas blend remains consistent as gas flows vary." No need to change out appliances or infrastructure, though some older iron pipes may need upgrading (already being done anyway).

About HyDeploy

HyDeploy is a pioneering hydrogen energy project designed to help reduce UK CO2 emissions and reach the Government’s net zero target for 2050.

As the first ever live demonstration of hydrogen in homes, HyDeploy aims to prove that blending up to 20% volume of hydrogen with natural gas is a safe and greener alternative to the gas we use now. It will provide evidence on how customers don’t have to change their cooking or heating appliances to take the blend, which means less disruption and cost for them. It will also confirm initial findings that customers don’t notice any difference when using the hydrogen blend.

First Phase

HyDeploy @ Keele is the first stage of this three stage programme. The UK Health & Safety Executive have given permission to run a live test of blended hydrogen and natural gas on part of the private gas network at Keele University campus in Staffordshire. It will be the first project in the UK to inject hydrogen into a natural gas network.

Second and Third Phases

Once the Keele stage has been completed, HyDeploy will move to a larger demonstration on a public network in the North East. After that, HyDeploy will have another large demonstration in the North West. These are designed to test the blend across a range of networks and customers so that the evidence is representative of the UK as a whole. With HSE approval, and success at Keele, these phases will go ahead in the early 2020s.

The longer term goal

Once the evidence has been submitted to Government policy makers, we very much expect hydrogen to take its place alongside other forms of zero carbon energy in meeting the needs of the UK population. .....

https://hydeploy.co.uk/


https://www.itm-power.com/news/hydeploy ... -operation

Dr Graham Cooley, CEO, ITM Power said: “I am delighted that this important pilot project is now operational. The increased use of hydrogen to decarbonise heat via the gas grid will perform a critical role in helping the UK to fulfil its ambitious climate change obligations. Indeed, the Committee for Climate Change has indicated that the UK will need between 6GW and 17GW of electrolysis in the next 30 years to store renewable power and provide renewable heat. Today’s announcement is a very significant step.”

UK’s first grid-injected hydrogen pilot gets underway

Ground-breaking UK hydrogen trial underway at Keele University
First time zero carbon hydrogen has been injected in the UK’s modern gas grid . 20% hydrogen/natural gas blend can cut CO2 emissions without the need to change gas appliances

The UK’s first live pilot to inject zero carbon hydrogen into a gas network to heat homes and businesses is now fully operational.

HyDeploy is a ground-breaking green energy trial at Keele University, Staffordshire, that could help Britain cut its carbon emissions and open the door to a low-carbon hydrogen economy.

The HyDeploy demonstration is injecting up to 20% (by volume) of hydrogen into Keele University’s existing natural gas network, feeding 100 homes and 30 faculty buildings. The 20% hydrogen blend is the highest in Europe, together with a similar project being run by Engie in Northern France.
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 03 Jan 2020, 01:24:45

At first glance it seems like a good idea. I wonder what the thermodynamic efficiency is.

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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby sparky » Fri 03 Jan 2020, 05:09:06

.
While this could be useful for some propulsive application ,
it would be a VERY bad idea for any thermal uses
Hydrogen is a bad thermal generator ,
it is tricky to contain and would substantially increase the cost of equipment to handle the mix

I like Hydrogen , it's a pretty straightforward gas ,is neither toxic or corrosive but it has a bit of an attitude
...."don't mess with me and I will not rip your head off " sort of thing

I've worked with it for twenty years , professional respect is the word , beware amateurs and badly trained operators
and mixing it change absolutely noting ,
it remain hydrogen , sitting in the same high pressure environment as methane and follows the partial pressure law
this mean that all containment and system will have to be Hydrogen rated
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby GHung » Fri 03 Jan 2020, 11:46:06

sparky wrote:.
While this could be useful for some propulsive application ,
it would be a VERY bad idea for any thermal uses
Hydrogen is a bad thermal generator ,
it is tricky to contain and would substantially increase the cost of equipment to handle the mix

I like Hydrogen , it's a pretty straightforward gas ,is neither toxic or corrosive but it has a bit of an attitude
...."don't mess with me and I will not rip your head off " sort of thing

I've worked with it for twenty years , professional respect is the word , beware amateurs and badly trained operators
and mixing it change absolutely noting ,
it remain hydrogen , sitting in the same high pressure environment as methane and follows the partial pressure law
this mean that all containment and system will have to be Hydrogen rated


And the "attitude" of hydrogen is being discussed.
https://youtu.be/Z3G9pzvIhtY?t=37

My feeling is that, since any hydrogen that may leak out will float away rather than pool in low areas, it isn't as big a problem as many would think. Of course, methane is also a bit lighter than air unlike propane, and natural gas sometimes goes boom. Anyway, as discussed in the link, 20% seems to be a sweet spot for the mix.
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 03 Jan 2020, 17:06:12

Hydrogen gas is an "indirect Greenhouse gas." While hydrogen itself is not a a greenhouse gas, hydrogen interacts with other chemicals in the atmosphere in such a way that Greenhouse warming is increased. In particular, hydrogen interacts with hydroxyl, reducing the ability of hydroxyl to break down methane. This tends to increase the amount of CH4 in the atmosphere, and CH4 is very powerful greenhouse gas known to be about 70 times stronger then CO2.

greenhouse gases: Hydrogen

There will inevitably be some linkage from residential and industrial usage of natural gas infused with 20% hydrogen. Increasing the use of fossil fuels and industrial chemicals like hydrogen known to increase greenhouse warming isn't a good idea, given the wildfires, arctic sea ice melt, sea level rise, and other effects we are seeing now due to greenhouse warming.

A better idea would be to rely on things like wind and solar and nuclear power where no greenhouse gases are emitted.

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We need to decrease our use of fossils fuels and other greenhouse gases---not increase their use. Hydrogen is an indirect greenhouse gas.

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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby sparky » Fri 03 Jan 2020, 18:18:31

.
yep hydrogen is so light that the safest way is to handle it in open air
trouble start in badly ventilated room ,
it's minimal molecular weight means it can diffuse easily through joints and even through the crystal lattice of metal

as I stated before left in peace it is quite a friendly stuff ,
it is difficult to ignite with a hot surface , but an open flame or spark will set it of
since it has a cold flame , beside bruises not much burns will happen
It seems to me that a better way would be to store the Oxygen and Hydrogen separately
then re-associate themselves in a turbine for generating power when the "renewable " drop their load
it would be done in situ , using the same grid connections
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 04 Jan 2020, 08:40:16

I detect some half truths and a LOT of weasel wording in this sales pitch. First the half truth.
As the first ever live demonstration of hydrogen in homes...
That is a flat out lie. Up until the North Sea gas production made Natural Gas very inexpensive to use the UK had a large number of "Town Gas" manufacturing facilities where raw coal was converted into a blend of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen gas for home and industrial gas burning appliances. The last of these facilities was closed in the late 1970's.

Now for some of the weasel wording. Especially troubling is the statement
The change from normal gas to blended gas during the live pilot will not cost customers more. We have worked with Ofgem, the energy regulator to ensure this is the case.
If you parse this statement the implication is clear, supplying renewable hydrogen is more expensive than supplying natural gas, but during the testing and approval phase the renewable hydrogen company is eating the extra cost to condition people to using the new gas blend. Once they have full approval for deployment and leave the testing phase however that will no longer be the case and they will be able to charge more, however much more they can convince the regulators is necessary.

Other weaseling is along the lines of
For our North East demonstration, we are at the stage of contacting everyone who will be involved in that demonstration – more than 650 homes – and asking them to book a visit from our engineers who will carry out Gas Safe checks on their gas appliances and gather information on the range of appliances in the demonstration area. The Gas Safe checks will be free of charge.
As if they are saints for doing an advanced form of the annual check. The problem they do not mention is basic, any appliances that fail the Hydrogen safety check will have to be upgraded or replaced at the home owner/landlords expense before the test can go forward. No doubt if the UK government decides to go forward with this scheme legislation will be passed requiring all new appliances be hydrogen blend safety compliant and that older appliances be upgraded or replaced withing a certain date range to allow a more wide spread deployment of the blended gas.

The third set of weasel wording is in the little video they included that tacitly admits the largest commercial source of hydrogen is stripping natural gas of its carbon. This not only consumes energy in the stripping process to leave behind the carbon residue for disposal, it also results in hydrogen gas which has less energy on a volumetric basis than the original methane contained. So they admit in passing that to supply the entire nation with a 20% blend of hydrogen in methane gas supply will require not just the off peak renewable energy, but also a huge energy sink in the form of converting methane which could be directly consumed into hydrogen and carbon residue with a lower energy value plus the expense of disposing of the residue and making the conversion in the first place.

IOW beware sales pitches that sound to good to be true, because they always are. Yes, I think using off peak renewable energy to produce Hydrogen could be a good thing as an intermediate energy storage option much better than battery storage. However the idea of using it as a blending agent for methane based natural gas not so great an idea. Far better IMO to store the hydrogen at the electricity facilities and then use it as the fuel in fuel cells consuming hydrogen and air to produce electricity when the renewables are not available. That would stabilize the grid in a way renewables have serious problems doing and store the hydrogen in a place and manner at which the safety checks could be done frequently and professionally on well maintained equipment.

Loose hydrogen gas has a simply massive flammability range when it encounters a spark or open flame. Hydrogen as low as 4% concentration in air will burn. Methane flammability is only slightly better at 5% but it is much easier to contain and has a far lower tendency to leak because the molecules are much larger.

Piping hydrogen through thousands of miles of random pipe and millions of appliances is a recipe for leaking.

Heck take the hydrogen made via renewable powered electrolysis and use it to reformulate biomass into manufactured methane. That would be a carbon neutral solution and a heck of a lot safer than this blending plan.
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby sparky » Tue 07 Jan 2020, 04:02:52

.
@ Tanada ++++

How about putting a "Like" button on the forum post ?
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Re: Blending Hydrogen With Natural Gas

Unread postby careinke » Sun 19 Jan 2020, 23:07:29

sparky wrote:.
@ Tanada ++++

How about putting a "Like" button on the forum post ?

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