National Grid is to trial Levidian’s “gamechanging” LOOP device, which, the developer says, aims to “turbo charge the UK’s access to hydrogen”.
On 27 January, Levidian announced that National Grid had signed up to trial the device as part of a world-first bid to boost the amount of hydrogen in the UK’s gas supply. Its LOOP device works by using plasma technology to separate methane into its constituent atoms – carbon, which is locked into high-quality graphene, and hydrogen, which can then be used immediately or stored for use in future. It said the project could allow National Grid to reinforce parts of the gas pipe network by using graphene as a corrosion-resistant internal coating, ensuring it can carry increased quantities of hydrogen and be less likely to crack.
It further mapped out how reinforcing the network using graphene could increase the UK’s ability to transport and access clean hydrogen. Existing infrastructure could be repurposed, with disruption minimised and it made far easier for consumers and businesses to make the switch over to hydrogen.
It also noted that National Grid will be trialling LOOP’s ability to reduce the combustion CO2 potential of the UK’s gas on a larger scale. When run through the device, natural gas gets replaced with a hydrogen-methane mix, with no loss of energy potential. Considering how heating, cooking and other industrial processes account for 37% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, Levidian labelled the project as a “huge opportunity” to make progress on ramping up the amount of hydrogen used across the country.