Nicolas Larrosa, Senior Lecturer in Structural Integrity, joins steelTalks to share his work on hydrogen transportation.
“Climate change” and Net-zero” may be currently two of the hottest topics within the engineering and scientific communities. Several countries have set their own strategy to achieve net-zero emissions targets and comply with the 2oC Paris agreement. Achievable or not, and with varying approaches, work is in progress in major economies.
In particular, the UK became the first major economy to pass net zero emissions law, meaning that any emissions would be balanced by schemes to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The role that renewables and nuclear in this is critical, where hydrogen is considered the main candidate as a clean-burning fuel. Although at present less than 1% of H2 comes from clean sources, blue hydrogen together with carbon capture and green hydrogen technologies are expected to grow exponentially in the coming decades.
The hydrogen needed to replace fossil fuels will be transported by means of pipelines, either from retrofitting gas transmission lines or building new ones. The former option is appealing as it would require less capital investment and time, an option with associated challenges from a safety and reliability viewpoint.
This talk will focus on the challenges associated with retrofitting natural gas (methane + other gases) for hydrogen/gas mix transport. Focus will be placed on structural integrity aspects, mainly on the new working conditions, the inherited aged structure and the associated damage mechanisms operating on steels and other metals. An overview of current research efforts, main barriers and the research needed will be discussed and will hopefully will trigger new ideas for addressing some of these issues.