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Virtual Brown Bag Briefing: Amanda McKay on Hydrogen Blend


Feb 19, 2024


12:00 am - 12:00 am



Amanda McKay, Policy Specialist for the Pipeline Safety Trust, will join us for two live sessions, at noon and 7, next Tuesday, February 20, to discuss hydrogen blending.

We know almost nothing about the plans to create a hydrogen economy. Much of what is being proposed… and financed with your tax dollars… remains a secret. Hydrogen blending is just one of those secrets.

Better Path has found that the U.S. Department of Energy is pushing what they call HyBlend pipelines. Hydrogen would be added to pipelines moving methane gas. Some of those pipes would be the transmission lines that run through your communities. Others would be the distribution lines that deliver gas to your home, school, or business if you are a natural gas customer.

Another thing they know is that there is no agreement about how much hydrogen could be mixed in safely. Given that hydrogen molecules are tiny and can escape from pipes very easily or cause embrittlement when they stay in the pipes, we say 0%. But even some hydrogen proponents believe it can be no more than 2% of the pipeline’s capacity while others believe it’s more like 20%.

And because our government is once again leaping before it looks, there are no regulations in place for HyBlend pipelines. That hasn’t stopped some companies from testing hydrogen blending. They’ve found around 40 projects across the U.S.; two of them are here in Pennsylvania. NiSource (better known as Columbia Gas) is testing blending at one of the company’s training facilities in Monaca.

Peoples Gas is partnering with the University of Pittsburgh on a pilot project that will eventually test hydrogen’s impacts on the company’s distribution system.



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