UKís First Hydrogen Blended Gas Trial Hailed

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Consortium members behind the United Kingdomís pioneering hydrogen blended gas project have declared it a success. Keele University, the site of trials for HyDeploy, had their buildings and university homes heated with hydrogen blended gas.

The project is a collaboration between Keele University, Progressive Energy Ltd., HSE, and Northern Gas Networks, and is led by Cadent. The consortium aims to respond to the British governmentís challenge for UK entities to cut their greenhouse gas emissions significantly. As a result, discussions ensued and centered on the mixture of hydrogen with natural gas to reduce carbon emissions related to office and home heating. 

Afterward, the consortium established teams within Keele University to evaluate whether such a mixture was feasible and whether or not it could be a viable alternative to address the heating needs of homes and offices.

The team charged with testing wanted to determine whether the blended gas project could pass muster on two criteria: feasibility and safety. Specifically, they ensured that mixing hydrogen with natural gas can be reconciled with natural gas equipment and networks currently run by end-users. It was also the teamís responsibility to find out if mixing hydrogen would cause equipment damage. During the testing, researchers had to determine the ideal mixture ratio, which they decided would be 20 percent.

Safety testing involved several procedures to guarantee that blending hydrogen with gas was not harmful. Researchers tested their hydrogen-natural gas blend on heaters and stoves first. When no issues were uncovered, they analyzed the mixtureís detailed characteristics to determine how the mix would run in different environments and contexts. 

Their findings indicated that the blendís dispersion characteristics were comparable to natural gas. Despite having differences in combustion and flammability characteristics in that hydrogen burns faster, the team concluded that the combination posed no danger to the safety of end-users.

Moreover, tests conducted also indicated that the hydrogen gas blend caused no leakage. When tested for 18 months in actual university and home environments without incident, the consortium hailed the HyDeploy project as a breakthrough. The team reported that blending hydrogen with natural gas was a feasible and safe alternative to home and office heating. Not only that, it will reduce carbon emissions significantly. 

The consortium is planning on second site testing in another UK university, which will run for ten months. The second iteration will test the projectís feasibility in homes, schools, and businesses. If again proven successful, the consortium announced that more test sites will be added until entire Britain can be covered.