Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Brouwer quoted in gas pipeline article

Fri, 01/29/2021

An article in Yahoo Finance quotes AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer on the topic of repurposing natural gas pipelines for transporting hydrogen.  With the Biden Administration's new emphasis on sustainable energy, these pipelines will be used less and less but could be converted to moving hydrogen for use in transportation fuels.  However, mixing natural gas molecules with hydrogen molecules creates problems that Jack says can be overcome by replacing compressors and steel pipes, which may become brittle and crack over time when exposed to hydrogen.
“We must investigate this for every single pipe we put hydrogen into,” said Jack, “but it’s a phenomenon we can manage because it’s slow.”  Problem pipes and compressors could be replaced over the course of years, he said. Or pipes could be protected with coatings applied from the inside by robotic devices called pigs that are currently used for pipeline inspection and maintenance.  “Just put some spray-painting equipment on that same device, and there you go, right down the whole pipeline,” Jack said.   Read the article