August 2021, Vol. 248, No. 8


PRCI Established Emerging Fuels Institute for Next-Generation Pipelines

Special to P&GJ 

Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) recently approved the establishment of the Emerging Fuels Institute (EFI).    

EFI will provide PRCI members the opportunity to execute the research needed to ensure the safe transportation and storage of the next generation of energy, such as hydrogen, renewable natural gas (RNG) and other potential gas and liquid fuel sources, that will help meet the world’s energy needs while reducing the impact to the environment.    

There are many technical challenges that need to be addressed for the next generation of fuels, and EFI will play a key role in assisting the industry to safely manage the changes in transporting and storing these products.    

Initially, EFI will focus on the following areas: 1) ensuring the integrity of inspection tools with new fuels; 2) addressing the challenges associated with storing hydrogen using current assets; and 3) determining what advancements in materials, design and processes are needed for retrofitting the pipeline systems for transport.    

“The current pipeline infrastructure will play a key role in the energy transition,” said Cliff Johnson, president of PRCI. “PRCI and its members are working to ensure the safety and integrity of the pipeline system for today and tomorrow.”    

Another key part of the efforts to move to a low-carbon future is to ensure that the current pipeline infrastructure is as efficient and safe as possible.   

To ensure that this vital infrastructure is efficient and minimizes the environmental footprint, PRCI is continuing to focus on several key research areas that include 1) enhancing/strengthening key inspection tools, processes and people; 2) developing more responsive tools to detect leaks from ground, aerial and space; 3) preventing leaks from occurring through enhanced design, construction and monitoring practices; and 4) creating greater efficiency and reducing methane emissions.    

To accelerate research results and improve pipeline integrity within these research areas, PRCI has identified three strategic priorities — detection and identification of cracks, detection and identification of mechanical damage, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.   

PRCI said it is looking forward to working closely with their members to continue ensuring the safety and resiliency of the global pipeline infrastructure to transport and store energy.    

“We are building on our almost 70 years of history to assist our members and the industry as we work towards a low-carbon future through the transport and storage of emerging fuels,” said Walter Kresic, PRCI executive board chair. “It is critical that we work to enhance our current pipeline infrastructure as we work to ensure the safe and resilient transport and storage of emerging fuels. The creation of EFI enables our members and the industry to make the transition to the next generation of energy a reality.”  

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