Natural Gas Decarbonization and Hydrogen Technologies Program

NETL’s Natural Gas Decarbonization and Hydrogen Technologies (NGDHT) Program aspires to transform the nation’s hydrogen supply chain through technology advancements and adaptations of existing infrastructure that improve the production, transportation, and storage capabilities of hydrogen as a fuel source.

R&D activities are focused on reducing the energy intensity required to produce hydrogen; reducing material fatigue to existing infrastructure and components due to its smaller molecular size (compared to natural gas); and improving the subsurface storage methods for hydrogen within geologic formations. An ongoing program objective is to make technologies applicable for near-term field-testing and long-term implementation as the nation transitions to a net-zero emissions energy supply chain.

To provide a well-rounded approach, R&D is also focused on developing reaction catalysts; advanced natural gas-to-hydrogen conversion solutions; pipeline coatings; specialized injection, transport, and storage system components; and advanced subsurface storage characterization efforts.

The emerging hydrogen supply chain and hydrogen energy economy encompasses many possible roadblocks that will need to be overcome by further R&D. Effective solutions will be aimed at improving infrastructure safety, reliability, and flexibility to ensure the security of the hydrogen supply chain.

NETL’s NGDHT Program covers research within three primary categories:

  • Hydrogen Production- Developing transformative natural gas decarbonization technologies to produce net-zero or net-negative carbon hydrogen to meet needs of future hydrogen markets. These efforts include improved catalysis and advanced natural gas to hydrogen conversion solutions that that can help accelerate an energy transition.
  • Hydrogen Transportation- Developing technologies that improve the cost and performance (e.g., resiliency, reliability, safety, integrity) of hydrogen transportation infrastructure, including pipelines, hydrogen separation technologies, and compression stations, with an emphasis on mitigating emissions across natural gas-hydrogen value chains. Technologies include coatings and components that are resistant to hydrogen embrittlement and support the use of existing natural gas infrastructure to effectively transport a blended gas stream containing at least 20% hydrogen.
  • Hydrogen Storage- Developing technologies to improve the cost and performance (efficiency, safety, integrity) of subsurface hydrogen storage. NETL’s research efforts include projects such as the Subsurface Hydrogen Assessment, Storage, and Technology Acceleration (SHASTA), which works to determine the viability, safety, and reliability of storing pure hydrogen or blended gas streams in subsurface environments.
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