RP3.2-09: Biomethane Impurities

Executive Summary

This project aims to increase industry knowledge about biomethane contaminants and their interactions with existing pipeline impurities and end user equipment, to increase industry confidence in biomethane injection into gas transmission and distribution pipelines. 

According to work conducted by the Future Fuels CRC RP2.2-01 (Regulatory Mapping for Future Fuels), the current controls for biomethane composition for gas network injection are predominantly based on the existing natural gas standard AS-4564. However, AS-4564 does not provide guidance on contaminants unique to biomethane, such as siloxanes, which convert into SiOduring combustion and are destructive to equipment such as gas turbine blades and end-user combustion appliances. 

This project aims to quantify the allowable biomethane contaminant concentrations in existing natural gas pipelines and assess the potential interactions between new and existing pipeline contaminants. The research develops a methodology document detailing biomethane testing and injection pathways to meet existing Australian Standards and regulatory requirements. A desktop review and corrosion modelling also  investigates the integrity-based impacts of raising AS 4564 oxygen limits on Australian natural gas networks.

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Commencement / End Date November 2020 to December 2022
Outcomes / Impact

The project strengthens the industry knowledge of important biomethane specific contaminants that can be used in gas supply contracts or new tariffs. The technical outputs regarding recommended contaminant limits also improves the accuracy of future techno-economic assessments such as those conducted via RP 1.2-03 (Assessment framework for bio-methane injection in gas networks). Project findings also contributes to future revisions of Australian gas quality standards. 

Partners University of Melbourne, Santos, Origin Energy, APA Group, Jemena, University of Adelaide
Research Contact

Douglas Proud

Research & Utilisation Program Coordinator