To main content

Thermodynamic Model Evaluations for Hydrogen Pipeline Transportation


Equations of state and transport property models for hydrogen and hydrogen mixed with natural gas components relevant for pipeline transport have been evaluated by comparing to experimental data and reference equations of state. The evaluated properties are density, speed of sound, Joule-Thompson coefficient, the isobaric and isochoric heat capacity, viscosity, and thermal conductivity. A temperature span of -10 to 50 °C and a pressure span of 1-300 bara has been set as the target range for pipeline transport. Viscosity and thermal conductivity models have been evaluated for binaries where experimental data are available. The goal of this work was to determine if models already available in commercial simulators can predict fluid properties accurate enough for engineering purposes. The classical cubic equations of state of Soave-Redich-Kwong (SRK) and Peng-Robinson (PR) with van der Waals mixing rules have been tested with parameters extracted from the common commercial simulations tools Hysys, Unisim, PVTsim Nova and Multifash. In general, the different parameter sets give similar performance. One exception is the H2-CH4 binary, where both Unisim and Multifash use a nonoptimal kij interaction parameter. Neither the SRK, nor PR can describe the Joule-Thompson coefficient of hydrogen, and the error lies in the range 50%-100%. The Joule-Thompson coefficient is however small, and the effect of this misprediction on pipeline simulations might not be significant. For viscosity and thermal conductivity predictions, the SuperTRAPP model in REFPROP 10 as well as simpler viscosity models LGE, LBC and a corresponding-state-principle model of PVTsim Nova have been evaluated. The SuperTRAPP model in REFPROP 10 was found to predict viscosity and thermal conductivity within a reasonable accuracy for pure hydrogen. The simpler viscosity models LGE and LBC overestimate the viscosity of hydrogen by 65% to 90% in the transport domain of interest. For the hydrogen binary systems studied, the SuperTRAPP model for the thermal conductivity and viscosity had errors around 20% at high pressures. Comparing corresponding-state-principle viscosity models with the SuperTRAPP model gave relative deviations in the range 3.9% to 13%. The SRK equation of state is found to perform better than the PR equation of state, with a relative density error below 1% for hydrogen rich systems. A TIBCO Spotfire® visualization dashboard has been developed for easy access to the evaluation results of the large amount of data and thermodynamic models. A steady-state thermohydraulic analysis for Europipe (Norway to Europe) has been performed to evaluate the effect that using different equations of state and viscosity models have on the thermohydraulic estimations. After a review of the thermodynamic model's performance, clear guidance on model selection for hydrogen transportation is provided. © 2022, Society of Petroleum Engineers.


Academic chapter/article/Conference paper





  • Equinor
  • SINTEF Energy Research / Gassteknologi




Society of Petroleum Engineers


SPE EuropEC - Europe Energy Conference featured at the 83rd EAGE Annual Conference & Exhibition



View this publication at Cristin