NTT to study hydrodgen transportation through existing pipelines

NTT Anode Energy Corporation has announced a a joint research and development project to study safety measures for the mass transportation of hydrogen through existing pipeline infrastructure, performed in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Toyota Tsusho Co., Ltd.
NTT to study hydrodgen transportation through existing pipelines
Courtesy of Pixabay.

The research project is expected to contribute to the realisation of a pipeline transportation model for hydrogen that could be implemented globally.

According to a paper published by the International Renewable Energy Agency, “Hydrogen has emerged as an important part of the clean energy mix needed to ensure a sustainable future.” However, the large-scale, stable transportation of hydrogen through new pipeline infrastructure faces issues including land acquisition construction costs and building time. Utilising existing pipeline infrastructure can solve these issues, and this new study represents the next step in this model’s proof-of-concept process.

The study will examine a double-piping system in which a hydrogen pipeline is placed in an existing pipe (the “sheath pipe”) buried underground. Factors to be measured and contributed to the formulation of technical standards include:

On-site investigation of hydrogen leakage detection

Verification of detection of signs of abnormality

Establishment of a control sequence to ensure safety

Performance evaluation of various hydrogen sensors in a real-world environment

Safety measures will be investigated under the assumption of unsteady conditions including rupture accidents and natural disasters during pipeline operation. In addition to examining the safety measures necessary for such use of existing pipelines, the study will verify the profitability of such projects, including cost analysis of transportation; energy input; and economic efficiency, as compared to other hydrogen transportation means.

Based on the knowledge and data gained 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 the future supply of hydrogen to urban areas (e.g., public and commercial facilities, data centres and communications buildings; fuel cell vehicles; hydrogen stations, etc.), supply through pipelines utilising communication pipelines (e.g., cable tunnels) and will contribute to the development of smart cities and the establishment of hydrogen supply means 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 being conducted in accordance with the "Research and development for the full-scale popularization of ultra-high pressure hydrogen infrastructure/Research and development for international development, international standardization, etc./Research and study for the examination of technical standards for hydrogen supply infrastructure, etc." of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

Primary Areas of Research by Collaborator

NTT Anode Energy

Hydrogen leakage detection;

Abnormal sign detection;

Hydrogen sensors investigation;

Investigation of residual hydrogen concentration at the time of hydrogen leakage; and

Investigation of explosion effect of manhole cover


Investigation of fire flame behavior caused by the ignition of leaked hydrogen in a simulated double piping system

Toyota Tsusho

Clarification of unit costs through verification of equipment, installation and safety costs; and

Verification of advantageous conditions and business establishment requirements of pipeline transportation


For additional information:

NTT Anode Energy Corporation

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