Classification of Emissions at Regulator Stations

Description: A project to assess sources of emissions at LDC-owned Regulator Stations and to develop and validate a framework for classifying and then mitigating those emissions.

Status: Following data collection from participating members and site visitation, the classification scheme was established and an emissions ranking tool completed. A holistic measurement approach is being defined to validate the emissions ranking process.

Benefits: A method to consistently assess and standardize the prioritization and measurement of emissions can increase safety by enabling a practical approach for identifying even small methane emissions. The process could also identify large emitters. Reducing emissions improves the environment and demonstrates to gas customers how even the smallest source of emissions are important to eliminate...

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Methane Oxidation Catalysts for Reduction of Emissions in Flaring

Description: To develop a catalyst material that can oxidize methane and hydrocarbons at low temperatures and employ these materials in devices to provide a viable alternative to flaring of natural gas.

Status: In partnership with a methane combustion technology company and a catalyst manufacturing expert, NYSEARCH is working to develop the first catalytic oxidizer device to be tested in controlled field conditions.

Benefits: Flaring of natural gas is a common practice in industry when necessary to depressurize systems and complete blowdowns for maintenance and operations. The result of flaring is the burning or combustion of methane and other natural gas components. Methane emissions reduction has been a key goal for utilities and reducing GHG emissions overall throughout the entire distribution system. Although flaring oxidizes methane, other resultant pollutants are generated from the combustion of methane particularly SOx and NOx...

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First Pass Leak Detection (FPLD)

Description:A technology advancement and test program to increase the probability of detecting otherwise missed leaks while performing traditional walking surveys.

Status: Advancements and trials of various instrument technologies, walking patterns and automated survey location records are being tested in 2021.

Benefits: The benefit of improved effectiveness in a “first pass leak detection” approach is an overall thoroughness and confidence in detecting leaks. With this more aggressive approach, there is also an increased likelihood of capturing more leaks resulting in increased safety. Operators are keen to reduce missed leaks and increase overall pipeline integrity...

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Automated Inspection Pass/Fail Tool Using NDE on PE Pipe Butt Fusion Joints

Description: A technology automation to compare critical flaw characteristics in PE pipe joint based on established acceptance criteria.

Status: NDE automation using artificial intelligence is being developed to provide pass/fall inspection results based on integrity acceptance criteria of PE pipe butt fusion joints.

Benefits: Automation of a Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) processes that compare joint interrogation results with known acceptance criteria would provide insight to a non-expert NDE inspector deciding to pass or fail a field fabricated joint. An automated algorithm provides a simple pass/fail indication from NDE results that visually indicate the joint integrity (red – probability of failure and green – within acceptable limits)...

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Impact of H2 Blending on Threaded Connections

Description: A testing program to evaluate impact of emissions from threaded connections with hydrogen blends up to 20% by volume.

Status: Failure rate testing is ongoing with different thread sealant compounds and results are to be analyzed by statistician to provide meaningful conclusions.

Benefits: As decarbonization efforts to prepare and modify natural gas infrastructure are formally beginning, this project addresses the need for data regarding the impacts of alternate fuels on threaded connections. Specifically, the impact of blended hydrogen (up to 20%) is being evaluated to test if any changes are expected in the number of leaks from fittings constructed from joints that meet the NPT thread standard. This test effort builds on earlier phases of another NYSEARCH program, Reducing Emissions at Threaded Connections...

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Common RNG Interconnection Skid Development for Utilities

Description: Develop a common engineering design for the RNG interconnection process that could provide utilities and RNG producers significant savings and reduce costs.

Status: The project deliverables, including engineering design package, equipment and instrumentation database, Bill of Materials, and cost estimator have been completed and are being socialized for funders. This product is being considered for sale to non-members on the www.nysearch.org website.

Benefits: As the Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) industry grows and decarbonization efforts remain a high priority for LDC’s, the demand for interconnecting with existing natural gas infrastructure will continue to increase. The benefit of this project is to provide a standard RNG interconnect skid design that could be incorporated by natural gas utility companies to reduce design efforts and cost as they are approached by RNG companies and biogas producers to inject into their existing systems...

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Study on Impact of Trace Constituents in RNG

Description: A study comprised of a gap analysis followed by laboratory testing to evaluate effects of trace constituents in RNG on gas infrastructure and residential appliances.

Status: The gap analysis is complete with select trace constituents identified for further evaluation of trigger limits and scientific evidence to support specified limits.

Benefits: This project aims to reduce the uncertainties and variation in limits set by different utilities for the trace constituents found in Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) by providing scientific data to back up the trigger limit recommendations. Considering growing demand for RNG production and injection into distribution infrastructure in North America, the testing should help both producers and developers to help determine the optimum upgrading and measurement system for bio-methane. For LDCs, it will aid decision making and help advance specifications to address safety and reliability issues...

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Study on Changing Accuracy & Variability of Therm Zones Affecting Metering of New Gas Supplies

Description: A study to determine how blending hydrogen into natural gas will change the gas properties that may influence the flow measurement performance of natural gas flow meters.

Status: Completing laboratory testing to determine the gas properties and metering characterization is ongoing.

Benefits: RNG injection and hydrogen blending in natural gas networks present a valuable solution for decarbonizing traditional energy systems, including heavy industry, heating, power generation, and transport, while enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy. Accurate measurements of gas composition and flow rates are essential to ensure correct transactions and billings...

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Hydrogen Blend Impact on Elastomer Materials

Description:Multiple phase project to understand how the physical properties of elastomers will change when introduced to a hydrogen and natural gas blends.

Status: Completing laboratory testing of SBR and NBR materials against varying gas compositions is ongoing.

Benefits: As hydrogen/natural gas blends are being considered as an alternate fuel to be distributed through the existing natural gas infrastructure, whether there is a need to understand the performance of elastomeric materials in the presence of hydrogen. The results of this testing will provide a full understanding of the impact of hydrogen on critical infrastructure components. These results could factor into operational decisions regarding the use of blended hydrogen on existing LNG infrastructure and the push to use that infrastructure toward future decarbonization...

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Scaling of Microbial Power to Gas (P2G) Conversion for Long Term Operation

Description: To test and identify limitations and successes in the long-term operation of microbial electromethanogenesis with intermittent electricity supply cycles.

Status: Intermittency testing has concluded successfully - a next phase of work to advance the electrochemistry of the microbial P2G system is being examined.

Benefits: As the natural gas industry is beginning to shift towards decarbonization and investigating the potential of emerging fuels, NYSEARCH is taking the opportunity to investigate an innovative energy storage solution and an unconventional method to create a renewable resource through microbial electromethanogenesis. There is a need and a business opportunity for long-term storage of electrical energy, especially as renewably produced energy becomes more abundant. This innovative microbial power-to-gas platform provides the potential to produce methane that can be upgraded as renewable natural gas (RNG) and injected into existing infrastructure...

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LDC-Focused Gap Analysis and State-of-the-Art Study on Decarbonization

Description: A state-of-the-art study (SOTA) and R&D gap analysis based on research and member interactions regarding active R & D projects and future needs with recommendations on addressing the LDC-specific challenges in decarbonization.

Status: The SOTA study and gap analysis are complete with delivery of technical reports in July 2022.

Benefits: Natural gas utilities in North America are actively engaged in multiple strategic and tactical efforts to embrace and implement emerging fuels. The NYSEARCH consortium defined and initiated innovative R&D projects in the past five years to support this path. This study provides detailed technical information on the current state of technologies for producing, upgrading, and interconnecting Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and Blending Hydrogen into existing natural gas infrastructure. An LDC-focused SOTA and gap analysis specific to distributing hydrogen blends and RNG provides a robust snapshot on the status of R&D today. It also provides a guide in maximizing R&D opportunities for further research to fully prepare for the clean energy transition. NYSEARCH member LDCs represent a vital part in meeting the low carbon energy goals coming from federal and state regulations...

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Hydrogen-Natural Gas Living Lab

Description: A project to test in live conditions the impacts of higher concentrations of blended H2 on gas piping materials and a wide range of gas engineering aspects and operations

Status: Design specifications, constructions requirements, permits and other contractual documents are being put into place by SoCal Gas, the Living Lab host and project lead. NYSEARCH funders are providing input and materials that influence design selection, test plans and samples for use.

Benefits: By displacing natural gas with blended hydrogen, there is a potential for significant reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs). Blending as a hydrogen delivery method, can defray the cost of building dedicated hydrogen pipelines or other costly delivery infrastructure especially during early market development. Blended hydrogen has the potential to enhance energy efficiency and resiliency in delivering renewable and non-renewable fuels...

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Cured In Place Liner (CIPL) Durability and Longevity Testing

Description:A testing program to provide experimental data on the expected durability and longevity of the CIPL system when used in cast iron (CI) and steel pipes.

Status: The testing for CIPL longevity and durability for up to 100 years is complete. Residual follow-on testing of liner tensile and adhesion properties is expected to be completed in 2022.

Benefits: CIPL technology is a viable pipeline renewal and replacement methodology that provides trenchless rehabilitation for leak prone CI and steel distribu-tion pipes. Also, CIPL serves to significantly reduce methane emissions from aging pipe...

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RFID Embedded in Coiled PE Pipe

Description: A project to develop and test an antenna and signal processing system using RFID technology to locate coiled PE pipe that has been installed via trenchless operations.

Status: The design tasks are complete. Manufacturing of the tag-laying machine and testing are in progress.

Benefits: The overall objective of the project is to develop and test an antenna and signal processing system using RFID technology to locate PE pipe. The RFID tag will be embedded on coiled PE pipes and is intended for use in all soil conditions. Development was first set to address a 63 mm (2.5”) pipe diameter size due to the challenge associated with small diameters (decreased circumferential surface parallel to the ground)...

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NYSEARCH 2021 Report: Research, Development and Demonstration Program (Select Projects)

Overview: NYSEARCH's 2021 Technology Briefs Report hightlights a number of collaborative RD&D projects in all of the following categories:

(1) Innovations for Pipeline Integrity/Direct and Remote Assessment

(2) Improved Installation Maintenance & Repair

(3) Pipe Location

(4) Low Carbon Fuels

(5) Leak Detection

(6) Reducing GHG Emissions

(7) Real Time Sensing & Inspection for Distribution

The Report also features information regarding the benefits members receive from the NYSEARCH/NGA Voluntary RD&D program...

Download Full Report (PDF Format)

PE Pipe Repair Methods – Butt Fusion Repair Sleeves (BFRS) and Variable Length Repair Sleeves (VLRS)

Description: A permanent repair technique for damaged, non-leaking PE pipe.

Status: PE pipe sizes of 1 1/4 inch through 12 inch are commercially available.

Benefits: Permanent and safe PE pipe repair methods can avoid cut-outs and potential customer interrup-tions. NYSEARCH’s development of butt fusion repair sleeves (BFRS) and variable length repair sleeves (VLRS) for Medium Density and High Density PE piping, operating within gas distribution pressures of 125 psig, provide repair options for damaged, non-leaking PE pipelines. Repairs are performed in-service without stopping or by-pass of normal operating gas pipelines...

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Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Applied to Traditional Inspections and Surveys

Description: Perform traditional gas pipeline inspections and surveys by incorporating the agility and positioning of sUAS mounted sensors.

Status: Advanced development is ongoing with activities that include advancement of sUAS platforms for real time data collection and conditional assessment.

Benefits: Advantages of using sUAS agility and positioning are recognized when integrating them into tradi-tional gas inspections and survey strategies. Advantages within leak detection, emergency response, right-of-way management, infrastructure assessment, corrosion severity and distribu-tion/transmission integrity management programs (DIMP/TIMP) have been tested and confirmed...

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Natural Gas Dispersion Study

Description: An experimental and numerical study of methane dispersion to help determine the optimal placement of methane detectors in residential settings. This effort will aid the ongoing effort to create a NFPA standard and update UL 1484.

Status: Phase II complete with assessment of impact of mechanical and natural ventilation.

Benefits: As the natural gas industry promotes the use of methane detectors, several issues need to be addressed. Two of these issues are: (a) the proper placement of these detectors in a residence, and (b) the gas concentration at which the detector should alarm. To be able to address these issues, detailed data regarding the dispersion of methane under various conditions and in various layouts is needed. This study will provide us with such data through actual monitoring of different structures...

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GasComm® Analytic Safety Monitoring System for PE Pipe Distribution Networks

Description: The purpose of this project is to design and build a low cost, battery powered and wireless remote monitoring system to measure multiple real time parameters in previously unmonitored areas of the PE natural gas distribution network. This data, including alarm events, is made available to existing utility RTU’s via a GasComm® Control Module or transmitted via secure cellular telemetry to the cloud server of choice.

Status: Following specification development, design and development tasks are in progress.

Benefits: The commercialized Enetics GasComm® unit for steel pipes is confirming the ability of this technology to monitor live pipelines in real time. Plastic pipe is the most prominent material used for distribution pipe applications, therefore adapting GasComm® technology for plastic pipe is beneficial to the utilities...

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Renewable Natural Gas Interchangeability Research for Residential Appliances

Description: Evaluation of varying Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) compositions on performance of residential appliances.

Status: Appliance testing is complete. NYSEARCH Range™ Plus available on www.nysearch.org

Benefits: The addition of new RNG supplies (from aerobic digestion, power-to-gas etc.) is expected to increase, leading to wider range of gas compositions. This NYSEARCH project is performing a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of varying gas composition on the performance of residential appliances to determine the potential extent of sensitive appliances being affected…

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Living Lab for Biomethane (RNG) Assessment

Description: A five-year controlled study to assess impact of processed biomethane on gas distribution infrastructure.

Status: Test material has been installed for the Living Lab at Newtown Creek and alternate site. Commissioning of the biomethane recovery system pending.

Benefits: The planned Newtown Creek wastewater treatment biomethane recovery system offers National Grid and the industry at large a unique opportunity to monitor the immediate and long-term impacts of direct injection of biomethane into a local distribution network via a “living laboratory” environment. The relationship of gas processing technology, monitoring instrumentation and downstream piping system impacts will be explored to help fill long standing industry wide knowledge gaps…

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Identification and Development of an Analyzer for Siloxane Measurement

Description: State of the art assessment for identification of a portable siloxane analyzer technology that meets NYSERACH sponsor(s) specification.

Status: Five analyzers identified that are being evaluated in North America.

Benefits: The benefit of this study is to leverage expertise of gas research centers of excellence in Europe by conducting an expansive search for a siloxane measurement tool. The approach will allow us to understand the technical requirements and solu-tions that are necessary to quantify the presence of siloxanes in Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). The program could result in a future solution necessary to qualify a biogas clean-up facility as acceptable…

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Testing of Residential Appliances for Impact of Siloxanes

Description: Practical testing to evaluate effect of Siloxanes on residential appliances’ performance.

Status: Appliance testing produced initial results; additional testing ongoing.

Benefits: This project aims to address the ongoing dialogue on the technical limits of siloxanes in Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). Assessment of siloxane impacts on sensitive natural gas end-use equipment will help to specify technically-sound limits. The largest impediment for translating results obtained from available literature is that a majority of in-use appliances are designed differently from those that have been previously studied. Additional testing will help us reduce the uncertainties by providing scientific data to support siloxane limit recommendations…

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GasComm® Plastic Pipe and RTU Control Module

Description: The purpose of this project is to design and build a device to measure in real time various gas pipe parameters. This data is wirelessly transmitted to a secure GasComm® RTU/Control Module (GCM).

Status: Following the completion of specifications, design and development tasks are in progress.

Benefits: The commercialized GasComm® unit for steel pipes is confirming the ability of this technology to monitor live pipelines in real time. Plastic pipe is the most prominent material used for distribution pipe applications, therefore adapting the GasComm® technology for plastic pipe is beneficial to the utilities. With a successful operation of the GasComm® unit for both steel and plastic pipes, the product would expand the live gas pipe monitoring technology…

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Development of Mercaptans Sensor with Non-Radioactive Ionizer

Description: A program to develop a small, portable, sensor with a non-radioactive ionizer to detect and measure mercaptan concentrations at very low levels using gas chromatography (GC) and differential mobility spectroscopy (DMS) technologies.

Status: All sensor components: the non-radioactive ionizer, sorbent trap, power control module, the DMS module, GC, and microcontrollers are currently undergoing integra-tion into a single operating unit.

Benefits: The use of odorants for natural gas detection is considered one of many major public health and safety advancements for the gas distribution industry. Small volumes of certain sulfur com-pounds known as mercaptans are injected into odorless natural gas to make it detectable. Currently, the primary method to detect mercaptans in natural gas is through operator “sniff” tests and costly gas chromatography lab analyses. A new technology to allow the measurement and detection of mercaptan concentrations at the parts per billion level which is the same level as that detectable to the human nose…

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Augmented Reality Application Development

Description: An Augmented Reality (AR) training application for the Microsoft HoloLens focused on the building of a new Meter Set Assembly (MSA) in the natural gas distribution sector and help utilities implement Remote Assist strategies.

Status: NYSEARCH is collaborating with an AR training vendor to build and deliver a customized MSA procedural guide for each funder on the Microsoft HoloLens 2.

Benefits: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have swept innovation into various industries in recent years. The technology provides a creative solution to add efficiency in workflow and numer-ous ways to optimize business operations. AR and VR implementation have proven to increase productivity within workforces across industries…

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Liquid Cleaning of Unpiggable Pipelines

Description: To enhance the Explorer 20/26 series robots when liquid is present in unpiggable live pipelines. This technology will ultimately enhance Explorer’s ability to conduct In-Line Inspections (ILI)when encountering liquids.

Status: Development and testing is underway.

Benefits: The objective of the Explorer 20/26 liquid cleaning project is to understand what is required to increase the liquid capability of the Explorer robot. The Explorer robot is intended, through this project to traverse and scan through liquid in pipelines with natural gas flow. Thus, we are working to further enhance the capable of driving and scanning through large and small amounts of liquids…

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