July 2023, Vol. 250, No. 7

Tech Notes

ROSEN Conducts Research on Hydrogen Embrittlement

Special to Pipeline & Gas Journal 

The ROSEN Group, together with National Gas (formerly National Grid Gas Transmission), has started researching ways to mitigate the potential for embrittlement of pipeline steel in hydrogen service. 

The project will utilize ROSEN’s newly developed materials testing laboratory dedicated to testing under hydrogen conditions. 

The conversion of existing pipeline infrastructure to transport hydrogen or blended mediums rather than natural gas alone is a critical element of the energy transition. Therefore, fully understanding the effects of hydrogen on pipeline materials is vital in determining potential asset lifetimes, understanding potential issues, and determining safe operating conditions.


Steel embrittlement is one such issue, and developing methods for mitigating this risk will be invaluable when it comes to safeguarding the use of existing assets while transitioning to a decarbonized future.  

The goal of the research, according to ROSEN, is to understand the impact of hydrogen on steel pipelines and how it may be mitigated. Several studies have shown that oxygen may reduce the embrittlement effects of hydrogen.  

Scheduled for completion during 2023, the project is expected to deliver: 

  • Fracture and fatigue property tests in air to give a baseline of pipeline material properties 
  • An understanding of what quantities of oxygen are required to mitigate hydrogen embrittlement effects 
  • The design and execution of a test program to quantify the effects of oxygen on different materials 
  • Gas composition for the tests in line with the hydrogen specifications of Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) 

The hydrogen test laboratory in Lingen, Germany, is equipped to conduct all the necessary tests and supported by a dedicated team of materials and pipeline integrity experts on hand to analyze the results of those tests.  

The ROSEN Group looks forward to working together with National Gas and its partners to further improve the understanding of hydrogen and its effects on materials. Together, we will enable National Gas to continue to play its leading role in the introduction of hydrogen into the UK National Transmission System. 

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