The Future of Green Hydrogen Blending is Boundless

by , , | Mar 26, 2024 | Digital Transformation, Oil & Gas

Todd Walden

Todd Walden

Public Relations, Advertising & Social Media Consultant

With the new energy economy come big changes. We all know that energy sources can’t change overnight, so more and more producers and transporters—including those in natural gas—are looking closely at blending as a transitional technology. Today, much of the talk around blending in natural gas centers on hydrogen (H2), with companies exploring new processes to blend green H2 and natural gas to increase efficiency and sustainability in their products.

However, as Abhishek Richhariya and Laura Gonzalez share in their recent article in H2Tech, these new technologies also bring new uncertainties,

“Many operations that support H2 blending are neither fully defined nor fully tested. As a result, while H2 blending presents an incredible opportunity for growth, it simultaneously generates new risks.”

Ultimately, they explain,

“The companies that win the future of gas production and transportation will be those that are both bold enough to chase modern, field-proven technologies, and wise enough to build their operations on a solid, sustainable foundation.”

Gathering the data

One of the most critical elements of pursuing any new operation is ensuring personnel have access to the right data. This is possible, Abhishek and Laura explain, by staying focused on a Boundless Automation™ vision for automation.

It all starts with having the right field devices in place to make critical data accessible to the enterprise. Operations, they share,

“will need sensors and analyzers capable of measuring the hydrogen component, natural gas component, and blended product to ensure blending is happening according to specification.

Operations will also want to ensure the material grade in their sensors is appropriate for H2. Multivariable sensors with a stainless-steel diaphragm will allow H2 to pass through. Updating to modern sensors with gold plating will significantly improve performance.”

The teams paving the way to a new H2 future will also want to ensure that their devices are all designed to manage the calculations necessary for successful H2 blending. As gas composition changes, so, too, will the algorithms for calculating density, energy content, and standard volume. Modernizing operations with solutions like Emerson’s latest flow computers and remote terminal units will allow for accurate measurement of natural gas and H2 blends.

A higher-level vision via the cloud

Changes will not only happen in the field, however. To successfully manage complex new operations, companies will need better visibility across the enterprise. That means bringing data out of silos and up to a higher level where cross-functional teams can use it more easily. Laura and Abhishek explain,

“To further reduce data silos, operations pursuing H2 blending will harness their edge technologies to push critical data from the field into the cloud for deeper investigation into the performance of their sites… If the operation can collect data at the edge for an extended period and move that data seamlessly to the cloud, it can be used to train modeling systems. Cloud simulation technologies can build functional models in a digital twin to test against a wide range of variables as the staff increases and decreases H2 ratios. Using replicas of the pipeline operation built in the cloud, the staff can test many different operating scenarios to see which future setpoints will best deliver on their contractual obligations. Because the testing is not performed on live equipment, it has no impact on day-to-day operations.”

Using modern, fit-for-purpose technology, Abhishek and Laura explain, is the key to making H2 blending operations a winning innovative strategy rather than a risky gamble. The full article goes into more detail about how such technologies build a more responsive, reliable, cybersecure foundation for these new strategies, helping unlock safer, more efficient operation alongside capturing competitive advantage for years to come.

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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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