Hydrogen, the most abundant chemical substance in the universe, may, as an energy carrier hold the key to the inevitable and needed transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Together with Norway's important role as a major energy provider in Europe comes the obligation to be a main player in this transition.
A safe and efficient use of Norway's 8800 km subsea pipeline network for transporting hydrogen to the market will be a strong driving force for this transition to happen. However, atomic hydrogen can be absorbed in metallic materials and cause material degradation in the form of hydrogen embrittlement. Therefore, HyLINE will address the pipeline material challenges related to transporting clean hydrogen gas in the existing subsea pipeline infrastructure for natural gas transport as well as new pipeline infrastructure.
The research partners SINTEF, NTNU and Kyushu University (Japan) cooperates with national and international industry partners that represents the whole value chain of the hydrogen eqonomy: Tenaris Dalmine, Equinor, Gassco, Total E&P, Air Liquide, TecnipFMC, and NEL.
Three PhDs and one PostDoc are working in the project, including one female candidate.
A comprehensive materials screening programme of four vintage pipelines and one new pipeline steel was carried out in 2020. The mechanical test results clearly show a degradation of the mechanical properties in hydrogen were chosen for further studies of hydrogen uptake, micromechanical properties and fracture and fatigue resistance, which has been the main experimental activities in 2021. This year also Total E&P entered the project and brings with them a third pipelin steel that will be investigated next year.
The numerical simulation of hydrogen induced fracture have achieved very promising results by combining the Gurson method and the cohesive zone method. The experimental testing are being performed both in Trondheim and at Kyushu University in Japan and the collaboration is running smoothly. We hope that the Covid-situation will allow for a PhD stay in Japan in 2022.
For Norway to be a substantial supplier of pure hydrogen gas to the European market, the gas must be transported through high pressure pipelines, both onshore and offshore. Hydrogen atoms (H) are known to migrate into metals and cause detrimental mechanical effects. Cathodic protection against corrosion is a well-known source of hydrogen, but exposing the full internal surface of a pipeline to high pressure hydrogen is a situation not addressed by current national standard for pipeline systems. Thus, hydrogen transport represents a new situation for the regulatory authorities, operators, owners and users of the existing pipelines and producers of new pipelines. All these stakeholders are contributing to HyLINE.
The primary objective of HyLINE is to build fundamental knowledge and competence to ensure safe and efficient use of existing and new pipeline infrastructure.
The main topics to be addressed are:
- How can H get into the material?
- How fast H gets into the material.
- How much H can the material take?
- What H does to the material when it has entered.
- How to predict effects of H throughout the lifetime of a pipe.
- How to mitigate these effects.
Gaining further knowledge on these topics contain the secondary objectives of HyLINE, as well as educating 5-10 MScs and 4 PhDs.
Materials and weldments will be selected based on their industrial relevance and susceptibility to the effects of H. Extensive experimental activities with strong coupling to model development of all the main topics, aim for results, methods and numerical tools that will extend the competence of all users in the hydrogen pipeline chain represented in HyLINE.
The expected outcomes of the HyLINE will serve as a scientific foundation for future development of standards and practices for pipeline transport of high pressure hydrogen.
Improved understanding of the effect of H on metals will also be of benefit to other parts of the process industry and the maritime sector in general.