Japan’s NTT to study hydrogen transportation through existing pipelines

NTT Anode Energy Corporation has announced a joint research and development project to study safety measures for the mass transportation of hydrogen through existing pipelines. The study will examine a double-piping system.

Performed in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Toyota Tsusho Co., Ltd., the study is expected to contribute to the realization of a pipeline transportation model for hydrogen that could be implemented globally.

Large-scale, stable transportation of hydrogen through new pipeline infrastructure faces issues including land acquisition, construction costs and building time. Utilizing existing pipeline infrastructure can solve these issues, and this study is seen as representing the next step in this model’s proof-of-concept process.

The project will examine a double-piping system in which a hydrogen pipeline is placed in an existing pipe (the ‘sheath pipe’) buried underground. Factors to be measured and contributed to the formulation of technical standards include:

  • On-site investigation of hydrogen leakage detection
  • Verification of detection of signs of abnormality
  • Establishment of a control sequence to ensure safety
  • Performance evaluation of various hydrogen sensors in a real-world environment

Safety measures will be investigated under the assumption of unsteady conditions, including rupture accidents and natural disasters during pipeline operation. In addition to examining the safety measures necessary for such use of existing pipelines, the study will verify the profitability of such projects, including cost analysis of transportation, energy input, and economic efficiency, as compared to other hydrogen transportation means.

Based on the knowledge and data gained through this project, NTT Anode Energy and its collaborators will promote and establish technical studies on safety measures for practical use. Ultimately, the project will also support the future supply of hydrogen to urban areas (e.g., public and commercial facilities, data centers and communications buildings, fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen stations, etc.), supply through pipelines utilizing communication pipelines (e.g., cable tunnels), and will contribute to the development of smart cities and the establishment of hydrogen supply means through pipelines in regions with a view to a society that consumes a large amount of hydrogen through the development of CO2-free hydrogen.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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