NTT will explore transporting hydrogen through existing pipelines

TOKYO-(BUSINESS WIRE)–NTT Anode Energy Corporation (President and CEO: Teruyuki Kishimoto, Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, NTT Anode Energy) has announced a joint research and development project to study safety measures for the mass transport of hydrogen through existing pipeline infrastructure. The study, conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (President: Kazuhiko Ishimura, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo AIST) and Toyota Tsusho Co., Ltd. (Representative Director: Ichiro Kashitani, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Toyota Tsusho), is expected to contribute to the realization of a pipeline transport model for hydrogen that can be implemented on a global scale.

According to a paper published by the International Renewable Energy Agency, “hydrogen is emerging as an important part of the clean energy mix needed to ensure a sustainable future.” However, large-scale, stable transportation of hydrogen via new pipeline infrastructure faces challenges, including construction costs, land acquisition, and construction time. Using existing pipeline infrastructure can solve these problems, and this new study represents the next step in the proof-of-concept process for this model.

The study will investigate a two-pipe system in which a hydrogen pipeline is inserted into an existing pipe (the “casing pipe”) buried underground. Factors that should be measured and contribute to the formulation of technical standards include:

  1. Site survey for hydrogen leak detection

  2. Check for signs of abnormality

  3. Establishing a control sequence to ensure safety

  4. Performance evaluation of different hydrogen sensors in a real environment

Safety measures will be studied assuming unstable conditions, including rupture incidents and natural disasters during pipeline operation. In addition to examining the safety measures required for such use of existing pipelines, the study will examine the cost-effectiveness of such projects, including an analysis of transportation costs; input energy; and economic efficiency compared to other means of transporting hydrogen.

Based on the knowledge and data obtained through this project, NTT Anode Energy and its collaborators will promote and establish technical studies on safety measures for practical use. Ultimately, the project will also support future hydrogen supply in urban areas (e.g. public and commercial facilities, data centers and communications buildings; fuel cell vehicles; hydrogen stations, etc.), pipeline supply using communications pipelines ( eg cable tunnels) and will contribute to the development of smart cities and the creation of a means of delivering hydrogen through pipelines in regions with a view to a society that consumes a large amount of hydrogen through the development of CO2-free hydrogen.

This project is conducted in accordance with “Research and development for full-scale promotion of ultra-high pressure hydrogen infrastructure/Research and development for international development, international standardization, etc./Research and study for verification of technical standards for hydrogen supply infrastructure, etc. .” of the Organization for the Development of New Energy and Industrial Technologies.

Major areas of research by the contributor

NTT anode energy

  • Hydrogen leak detection;

  • Abnormal detection of signs;

  • Research on hydrogen sensors;

  • Investigation of the concentration of residual hydrogen at the moment of hydrogen leakage; and

  • Investigation of the blast effect of the manhole cover


  • Investigation of flame behavior in a fire caused by ignition of leaked hydrogen in a simulated two-pipe system

Toyota Tsusho

  • Clarify unit costs by checking equipment, installation and safety costs; and

  • Verification of favorable conditions and requirements for establishing a pipeline transport business

About NTT Anode Energy Group

As a company focused on utilizing NTT Group’s information communication technology and DC power technology in pursuit of “smart energy” business opportunities, NTT Anode Energy works to develop and deliver energy solutions that make more sophisticated and efficient using distributed energy resources such as renewable energy generation facilities and storage batteries. In this way, it can fully express the unique synergies of the NTT Group. Through these efforts, we aim to work with partner companies to create new energy distribution mechanisms to help revitalize industries and shape a more sustainable society.

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