NIST building facility for hydrogen pipeline testing

January 23, 2008

Efforts to create a "hydrogen economy" to reduce U.S. oil imports will get a boost from a new laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that will evaluate tests, materials, mechanical properties and standards for hydrogen pipelines.

Construction is just beginning on the 750-square-foot laboratory on the site of a former hydrogen test facility at the NIST campus in Boulder, Colo. The laboratory--including a control room in a separate, existing building--is expected to be operational by mid-2008.

Widely used in industrial processing, hydrogen is attractive as a fuel because it burns cleanly without carbon emissions and can be derived from domestic sources. But long-term exposure to hydrogen can embrittle existing pipelines, increasing the potential for dangerous failures. NIST researchers will use the hydrogen laboratory to develop long-term service tests and apply them to study pipeline materials and mechanical effects. NIST is coordinating its research and safety plans with other national laboratories and industry groups working with hydrogen.

Experiments will involve immersing pipeline materials in pressurized hydrogen gas contained in steel alloy test chambers. The largest of these--about the size of a small automobile gas tank--will be the nation's biggest hydrogen test chamber. Studies will be conducted using hydraulic machines to test mechanical fatigue, large frames for applying pressure to pipeline materials and equipment for testing properties such as tensile and residual strength and fracture toughness.

Tom Siewert, the NIST metallurgist who will manage the new laboratory, says the initial research will involve collecting fatigue and fracture data for existing pipelines as a baseline and conducting "round robin" exercises to assess the consistency of tests among various hydrogen laboratories. In the future, the focus will expand to new pipeline materials such as composites.

To help develop the research program, NIST recently held a workshop involving 46 participants representing pipeline owners, industry and standards organizations, academic researchers, national laboratories and government agencies. Working groups identified priority needs in materials; test techniques and methods; and codes, standards and safety.
-end-
The proceedings are available online at http://www.boulder.nist.gov/div853/Pipeline_Workshop/index.htm., or on a compact disc available on request from Siewert, thomas.siewert@nist.gov, (303) 497-3523.

The new laboratory is among a variety of NIST programs focusing on hydrogen, including studies on fuel cells. More information is available at www.nist.gov/hydrogen.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related Hydrogen Articles from Brightsurf:

Solar hydrogen: let's consider the stability of photoelectrodes
As part of an international collaboration, a team at the HZB has examined the corrosion processes of high-quality BiVO4 photoelectrodes using different state-of-the-art characterisation methods.

Hydrogen vehicles might soon become the global norm
Roughly one billion cars and trucks zoom about the world's roadways.

Hydrogen economy with mass production of high-purity hydrogen from ammonia
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has made an announcement about the technology to extract high-purity hydrogen from ammonia and generate electric power in conjunction with a fuel cell developed by a team led by Young Suk Jo and Chang Won Yoon from the Center for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research.

Superconductivity: It's hydrogen's fault
Last summer, it was discovered that there are promising superconductors in a special class of materials, the so-called nickelates.

Hydrogen energy at the root of life
A team of international researchers in Germany, France and Japan is making progress on answering the question of the origin of life.

Hydrogen alarm for remote hydrogen leak detection
Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Chemistry and Technology of Prague proposed new sensors based on widely available optical fiber to ensure accurate detection of hydrogen molecules in the air.

Preparing for the hydrogen economy
In a world first, University of Sydney researchers have found evidence of how hydrogen causes embrittlement of steels.

Hydrogen boride nanosheets: A promising material for hydrogen carrier
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Tsukuba, and colleagues in Japan report a promising hydrogen carrier in the form of hydrogen boride nanosheets.

World's fastest hydrogen sensor could pave the way for clean hydrogen energy
Hydrogen is a clean and renewable energy carrier that can power vehicles, with water as the only emission.

Chemical hydrogen storage system
Hydrogen is a highly attractive, but also highly explosive energy carrier, which requires safe, lightweight and cheap storage as well as transportation systems.

Read More: Hydrogen News and Hydrogen Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.