Hydrogen Blending into Natural Gas Pipeline Infrastructure: Review of the State of Technology

Kevin Topolski, Evan Reznicek, Burcin Erdener, Chris San Marchi, Joseph Ronevich, Lisa Fring, Kevin Simmons, Omar Jose Guerra Fernandez, Bri-Mathias Hodge, Mark Chung

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Hydrogen is an energy carrier that could play an important role in reducing emissions associated with difficult-to-decarbonize sectors including peaking and load-following electricity and industrial heating. Blending hydrogen into the natural gas pipelines has been proposed as an approach for achieving near-term emissions reductions and early-market access for hydrogen technologies such as electrolyzers. Numerous challenges and uncertainties complicate this approach to natural gas decarbonization, however, and this review summarizes current research on the material, economic, and operational factors that must be considered for hydrogen blending. First, this review explores previous research regarding the effects of blending hydrogen on gas mixture fluid and thermodynamic properties, pipeline materials and equipment performance within transmission and distribution networks, and supporting facilities such as underground storage and end-use hydrogen separation. We also investigate and summarize studies that developed mathematical models of natural gas pipeline networks with hydrogen blending, and the operational and techno-economic findings of these network studies. Finally, we discuss notable hydrogen blending demonstrations and their key outcomes. Many blending demonstrations internationally have proven that low hydrogen percentage blending is feasible under very specific scenarios with limited end-usage applications on both high-pressure transmission lines and low-pressure distribution lines. This report summarizes findings from literature into key areas of consensus and disagreement. Research gaps and disagreements between the literature are highlighted to provide directions for future hydrogen blending research.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages70
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-81704


  • hydrogen
  • hydrogen blending
  • natural gas
  • natural gas pipeline network


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