Southwest Gas Corporation, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Arizona State University in Tempe (ASU) will study how hydrogen-blended natural gas can further reduce carbon emissions while providing clean and reliable energy.
UNLV and ASU will guide an unbiased third party and partner with Southwest Gas to develop the studies. The partnership with UNLV is a proof of concept study that will allow Southwest Gas to use the university’s electrolyzer to test the production, blending, distribution, and end-use of the hydrogen blend.
The research will be conducted at Southwest Gas’ Emergency Response Training Facility (EMRF) in both cities. The hydrogen will be blended with natural gas at various levels for the study – 5%, 10% and 50% – and then injected into the existing natural gas infrastructure at EMRF. At ASU, the studies will use pre-purchased hydrogen bottles and create a mixture of up to 20% hydrogen with 80% natural gas.
The pilot programs are expected to begin concurrently in the first quarter of 2022, with the first phase lasting several months. The first phase results will help determine the scope and duration of subsequent phases. The study will help determine the optimal hydrogen/natural gas blend percentage, safety aspects of hydrogen-blending, the economics of hydrogen etc
An additional pilot program is being spearheaded by the Southwest Gas Hydrogen Pilot Action Team and consists of creating demonstrations based on blended hydrogen properties, with major milestones that include using a natural gas barbecue to grill with 5% hydrogen blended gas.