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Supporting clean energy in the UK

NPL develop new Primary Reference Materials

Arul Murugan, Principal Research Scientist, discusses the need for new Primary Reference Materials and the NPL Gas Metrology Group’s journey in developing them.

In November 2020 the UK Government announced its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution which included the use of hydrogen for heat and transport, hydrogen and biomethane blending in natural gas, and carbon capture and storage. All of these areas require accurate and traceable gas measurements to determine the energy content of gas, ensure safe and efficient operation and to avoid damage to end-user vehicle or appliance.

As the UK’s National Metrology Institute (NMI), we are responsible for ensuring gas measurements performed in the UK are traceable to the mole, and comparable to other countries. We do this by participating in international comparisons with other global NMIs. This traceability is then disseminated to specialist gas providers who are able to produce and provide their own reference standards or calibration gas mixtures.

Earlier this year, through various UK and European collaborative projects, such as Hy4Heat, SGN Hydrogen 100, EMPIR Biomethane and EMPIR MetroHyVe, NPL released a new suite of Primary Reference Materials to support the decarbonisation of energy gases. These include the Primary Standards for biomethane, hydrogen enriched natural gas, hydrogen for heat and odorants in hydrogen, and are available to specialist gas producers who intend to provide calibration gas standards to industry, and to gas distribution network operators, appliance manufacturers, analytical instrument developers and researchers who directly require high accuracy mixtures.

Find out more about NPL's work in the Hy4Heat project here. 

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21 Apr 2021