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PG&E launches comprehensive study on hydrogen’s feasibility within gas pipelines; H2∞

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is launching the US’ most comprehensive end-to-end hydrogen study and demonstration facility, which will examine the future potential of the zero-carbon fuel hydrogen as a renewable energy source for not only PG&E customers but the entire global natural gas industry.

The centerpiece of the study, known as Hydrogen to Infinity (H2∞), is a large-scale project that will blend hydrogen and natural gas in a stand-alone transmission pipeline system. H2∞ will enable PG&E and its partners (Northern California Power Agency [NCPA], Siemens Energy, the City of Lodi, GHD Inc., and University of California at Riverside) to conduct a complete study of different levels of hydrogen blends in a multi-feed, multi-directional natural gas pipeline system that is independent from its current natural gas transmission system.

The dedicated facility will allow for a controlled and safe study of hydrogen injection, storage, and combustion of different hydrogen blends in a variety of end uses. NCPA’s Lodi Energy Center power plant is located adjacent to H2∞ and will accept a hydrogen-natural gas blend for electric generation in the Siemens Energy 5000F4 Gas Turbine.

H2∞ will include a new 130-acre facility located in Lodi, Calif. that will serve as a study laboratory that incorporates production, pipeline transportation, storage, and combustion.

Areas of focus within the pilot include:

  • Technical, operational, and safety needs
  • Market development
  • Energy resiliency and flexibility
  • Commercial and government partnerships
  • Unprecedented functional test environment for on-going research
  • Training environment for new technology

In addition, PG&E is contemplating this facility being the centerpiece for a potential Northern California Hydrogen Hub.



What percentage H2 can you add to a natural gas pipeline before you get H2 embrittlement in the pipes?

Roger Pham

Existing NG pipeline can use 100% H2, as long as the pressure is not fluctuating frequently, and as long as there is no micro-fissures or cracks on the inner surface of the pipe whereby H2 can seep in. Perhaps a special coating of very low H2 permeability can be used to coat where micro-cracks are found, or those sections can be replaced, in order to permit the use of H2 in existing NG pipeline system.


I suppose they will have to find a way to line the insides of the pipes using a pig or something.
wiki "pigging" for the curious


Hawaii Gas
The existing pipeline network currently accommodates a mix of synthetic natural gas (SNG), renewable natural gas (RNG), liquid natural gas (LNG), and up to 15% hydrogen.


Another key feature of 2DPA-1 is that it is impermeable to gases. While other polymers are made from coiled chains with gaps that allow gases to seep through, the new material is made from monomers that lock together like LEGOs, and molecules cannot get between them.


Literally a Pipe Dream

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