Addressing Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen Pipeline Transport Challenges

by , | Mar 20, 2023 | Oil & Gas, Sustainability

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

World Pipelines’ Senior Editor Elizabeth Corner interviews Emerson's Paul Dickerson in a video, World Pipelines Spotlight with Emerson.Much global focus remains on transitioning from carbon-based energy carriers to hydrogen. In a World Pipelines article, A Cleaner Energy Transition (free registration required), Emerson’s Paul Dickerson discusses the need for pipeline monitoring & design to transport hydrogen for energy storage and carbon dioxide for carbon capture projects. World Pipelines’ Senior Editor, Elizabeth Corner, also has a great video interview with Paul in a post, World Pipelines Spotlight with Emerson. This interview recaps many of the key points in the article.

Paul opens the article by highlighting the challenge and what is required.

A novel blend of technology and critical infrastructure will be required to sequester CO2 and hydrogen as part of the low-carbon energy transition and changing energy landscape. The transition will dictate a redesign of pipelines, along with greater resource optimisation across pipeline networks that requires risk-modeling software and capabilities such as machine-learning algorithms, self-learning adaptive methods, and simulation-based applications for companies to compete and thrive in the future.

Capital investments are rapidly increasing to address this decarbonization challenge.

Globally, investment in the low-carbon energy transition hit a record-setting US$775 billion in 2021, a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to BloombergNEF. Renewable energy in 2021 captured US$336 billion in new investment, a 6.5% increase from the prior year, for new projects and small-scale systems.

Carbon capture and storage is one of the significant ways for oil and gas companies to address the low-carbon transition.

Transporting CO2 in pipelines is similar to transporting other pipeline products; it can be transported as a gas or as a dense liquid or supercritical fluid.

Hydrogen in its gaseous state:

…can be transported through pipelines much the way natural gas is today, and nearly all hydrogen pipeline shipment in the US and overseas occurs in dedicated hydrogen (or syngas) infrastructure.

Hydrogen is less energy dense by volume – about four times less energy dense – than natural gas, therefore requiring the development of advanced, large-volume transportation and storage methods that have potential for higher energy density.

Hydrogen is corrosive to metal piping.

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE), occurring when metals become fragile as a result of the introduction and diffusion of hydrogen into the material, is another leading cause of concern.

Paul notes that some experts see 20% hydrogen in a natural gas mix may be the upper limit before different and expensive piping materials would be required to address HE. Pipeline design is another area that needs attention with the changing fluid properties.

Read the article for additional challenges and how technologies such as PipelineStudio can play a role in meeting these challenges in pipeline design and simulation-based applications such as PipelineManager to address safety and pipeline performance.

Visit the Pipeline Integrity Management Solutions section on for the full range of solutions to help drive improvements in safety, efficiency and reliability in pipeline transportation applications.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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