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research-article

Operating Hydrogen Gas Transmission Pipelines at Pressures above 21 MPa

[+] Author and Article Information
Elizabeth S Drexler

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Applied Chemicals and Materials Division, 325 Broadway, m/s 647, Boulder, CO 80305 USA
elizabeth.drexler@nist.gov

Robert Amaro

University of Alabama, 401 7th Ave., Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
robert.amaro67@gmail.com

Andrew J. Slifka

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Applied Chemicals and Materials Division, 325 Broadway, m/s 647, Boulder, CO 80305 USA
andrew.slifka@nist.gov

Peter Bradley

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Applied Chemicals and Materials Division, 325 Broadway, m/s 647, Boulder, CO 80305 USA
peter.bradley@nist.gov

Damian S Lauria

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of Information Systems Management, 325 Broadway, m/s 187, Boulder, CO 80305 USA
damian.lauria@nist.gov

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041689 History: Received June 11, 2018; Revised October 02, 2018

Abstract

The economical and efficient transportation of hydrogen gas is necessary for it to become a widespread source of energy. One way to improve the economics is to lower the cost of building hydrogen gas pipelines. The recent modification to the ASME B31.12 Code for Hydrogen Piping and Pipelines begins to lower the cost of building pipelines for hydrogen service by allowing the use of high-strength steel that will provide the same margin of safety with thinner pipe walls. Less steel directly impacts the cost of materials and welding. A means of improving efficiency would be to increase the hydrogen gas pressure to augment the volume of products transmitted through the pipeline. The recent B31.12 code modification characterized dozens of fatigue crack growth test results conducted in hydrogen gas pressurized up to 21 MPa with an upper boundary to the combined datasets. In this study, different pipe geometries, strengths, and pressures with established design protocols were evaluated to determine if the code would require further modifications should linepipes be designed for higher hydrogen gas pressures, up to 34 MPa. It was shown through a numerical exercise that the code could be minimally modified and safety margins would be adequate for those pressures for steels up to and including API-5L Grade X70.

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