30% of Natural Gas Fuelling UK To Be Replaced With Hydrogen


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In the effort to cut carbon emissions and curb climate change, around a third of the natural gas running UK businesses and homes are set to be replaced with the carbon-free fuel, hydrogen. The switch to hydrogen would reportedly not require any change to the nation’s boilers and ovens.

The switch is based on a ground-breaking study by the researchers at the University of Swansea. In the context, over time the switch to hydrogen could cut the UK carbon dioxide emissions by up to 18%. The university is popular for its research into the use of Hydrogen across myriad applications. And, the trial run of hydrogen-enriched natural gas (HENG) is reportedly one of the many hydrogen focused projects the UK and Europe are working on.

Natural gas facilitates heating, generating electricity, and cooking. And, it is said that domestic gas usage accounts for around 9% of UK emissions. The use of HENG is considered as a way forward, and experiments have revealed that modern-day gas appliances work safely and reliably with HENG. The usage already exists in parts of the Netherlands and Germany, and a government-backed trial to the tune of £600m in the UK is reportedly taking place this year.

Natural gas holds a minute quantity of hydrogen, and the existing legislation of the UK limits the permissible proportion to 0.1%. The Swansea research team have reportedly investigated the increase in the percentage of hydrogen in natural gas before the fuel becomes unsuitable due to the increase.

The team at the University’s Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) which includes, Dr Charles Dunnill and Dr Daniel Jones, highlighted on an enrichment of 30% being possible. Also, highlighted are higher percentages making the fuel incompatible with domestic appliances. The research was reportedly published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Meanwhile, Dunnill stated that HENG could cut the greenhouse gas emissions, helping the UK to meet its obligations under the 2016 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

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