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Britain pushes forward with hydrogen blending of natural gas

Although the economic benefits and environmental performance of hydrogen and natural gas mixed combustion power generation need to be further analyzed, the UK has a positive attitude towards the prospect of low-carbon and environmental gas mixed market.

In the first half of last year, the UK made the decision to mix a certain proportion of hydrogen into the natural gas Internet by 2023. Since then, the host country has been increasingly enthusiastic about hydrogen mixing. The first demonstration project of hydrogen blending in natural gas power plants will be put into operation in the second half of this year as planned. Although the economic benefits and environmental performance of hydrogen and natural gas mixed combustion power generation need to be further analyzed, the UK has a positive attitude towards the prospect of low.carbon and environmental gas mixed market.

It is necessary to clarify the hydrogen mixing rate as soon as possible

"Government departments should approve the hydrogen mixing rate of natural gas as soon as possible, and clarify the hydrogen mixing rate more and more quickly, so that the stimulation of hydrogen mixing technology and related demonstration projects can be commercialized more quickly." Jane Toogood, a low carbon and green gas consultant to the British government and CEO of Johnson Matthey Metal Catalyst Technology, a British specialty chemicals company, made it clear recently. Toogood stressed that hydrogen energy is one of the key solutions to achieve the overall goal of net zero emissions in the UK. With energy issues, climate issues and many other issues becoming increasingly acute, the demand for hydrogen ecosystems around the world is rapidly surpassing that of industrial production, transportation and power enterprises. "Hydrogen is ideal for energy.intensive applications such as concrete, steel and glass, and it can also add power to heavy vehicles such as commercial aircraft, boats, trucks and emergency vehicles, which cannot withstand long battery charging times."

It is worth mentioning that Toogood was appointed as the UK's first "Chief Champion of Hydrogen Energy" by the Department of Business Services, Energy Supply and Industrial Production Strategic Planning in July last year. This role is equivalent to that of a single expert adviser to government departments, whose job is to contact stakeholders and investors in the field to identify the obstacles and hazards of hydrogen investment and good news. In addition, it will give advice to the British government on how to accelerate the upgrading of hydrogen industry structure.

UK Business and Energy Minister Kwasi Kwaten said: "Toogood's work is to ensure that the hydrogen industry works with government to accelerate hydrogen production and manufacturing as a green source of energy, improving local energy issues and creating jobs."

The Guardian highlighted that 83% of British households and more than 200,000 companies rely on natural gas, which makes the country highly dependent on natural gas. In this context, natural gas becomes a low.carbon, environmentally friendly and efficient solution when mixed with hydrogen.

The UK government will decide later this year whether to mix up to 20% of hydrogen into the gas distribution system to replace gas heating furnaces and reduce emissions, as part of the country's emissions target by 2050, according to figures. Gas furnaces account for about a fifth of Britain's total greenhouse gas emissions.

"All new natural gas boilers should be fully prepared for hydrogen mixing." "The initial mix will be 2026," Toogood said. "Not all parents will be able to easily switch to an electric heat pump." She notes that both "green hydrogen", made by electrolysis from renewable water, and "blue hydrogen", made by combining carbon capture and conservation techniques from fossil fuels, can be mixed into Britain's gas pipeline network.

Hydrogen blending peak regulating demonstration site will begin immediately

Centrica, a major gas distributor in the UK, has announced that it will operate its hydrogen blending demonstration project for natural gas power plants in the second half of the year as planned, which is the first new hydrogen blending peak management project in the UK.

Centrica's 49MW gas.fired power plant in Lincolnshire typically operates for less than three hours a day during peak hours or when renewable energy is low. The hydrogen Blending demonstration project aims to test the utility of mixing hydrogen and natural gas in power plants with the goal of reducing overall carbon intensity.


The implementation cycle of this hydrogen-mixing demonstration site project is 12 months. In the early stage of operation in the third quarter of this year, the hydrogen mixing rate of natural gas was only 3%, which was significantly increased to 20% after the implementation of the project. The ultimate goal is to promote 100% application of hydrogen.

In addition, the UK Electricity Energy Internet Association Gas Internet Hydrogen Blending Scheme is also running this year. The plan is to supply 20% hydrogen gas across the UK during the winter of 2023-2024, in an effort to lay the groundwork for a cleaner blend of gas for UK gas-fired power stations. According to the UK's Electricity Energy Internet Research Institute, a 20% hydrogen blending rate is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 6 million tons per year.

Antoni Green, director of hydrogen projects at National Grid, stressed that the UK should start upgrading its energy infrastructure as soon as possible in order to push for higher hydrogen blending rates.

Currently, the head of the UK's Health and Safety Court has assessed the safety of hydrogen for use in domestic, commercial and industrial environments.

Cost and safety are the test

In view of whether hydrogen-doped natural gas is suitable for household boilers, opinions in the industry are polarized. Proponents argue that switching to low-vacuum hydrocarbon furnaces would be less damaging to the environment than installing other low-carbon heating systems, such as electric heat pumps. "Low vacuum hydrocarbon is a regenerative chain that, while not central to the UK's future energy supply, still has a place in the energy system for its low carbon and green properties." Toogood paid attention.

In fact, blending natural gas with hydrogen can change the combustion characteristics of natural gas and improve the combustion value. At the same time, natural gas pipelines and other facilities can also be used to create more possibilities for the current hydrogen transport, the widespread use of hydrogen energy and the application of business scale.

Reformers, however, argue that hybrids could increase the amount of time that natural gas is used in home heating and make them less economical and efficient than alternatives such as electric heat pumps or solar power. According to the Cornish inquiry, the cost of heating a home using hydrogen is actually 70% higher than that of using natural gas.

In addition, hydrogen is very easy to penetrate into solid alloy, dry pipe steel crack, and plastic pipe, refrigeration compressor, gate valve and other non-heat transfer equipment, such as warehousing and logistics facilities, also need to be assessed moderately.

The idea of mixing hydrogen into natural gas pipelines is not new, but there is still a big gap in expertise, said Marco Zhong, director of the Structural Analysis of hydrogen in the Renewable Resources Laboratory of the US Department of Energy. The hazards of mixing hydrogen must be considered in a comprehensive way, including raw materials, economic development and business, and the specific energy of hydrogen also brings challenges to energy transmission.

So far, the world has not issued a unified hydrogen-doped natural gas pipeline transmission system software special standards, countries around the world in the gas quality standards of the permissible large proportion of hydrogen mixing is not the same, which brings a certain test to the hydrogen mixing project research and development and relevant application demonstration.

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