Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline Inc. (Southern Star), a US-based interstate natural gas pipeline company, and Cooper Machinery Services (Cooper) have successfully field-tested a large-bore, slow-speed integral engine running on a 30% hydrogen (H2) fuel blend.
In late 2021, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch a joint hydrogen research project aimed at converting Southern Star’s fleet of gas-fired reciprocating integral engines to combination gas-/hydrogen fired units. The two companies modified a large-bore Cooper-Bessemer GMVH-12 at Southern Star’s Hugoton, Kansas, compressor station to run on a blend of hydrogen and natural gas. The engine was equipped with Cooper’s HyperBalance IV system to monitor pressures, collect data, and ensure equipment safety during the test. In October, the unit ran in the field for the first time with the hydrogen fuel blend.
“This is a remarkable time for Cooper and our hydrogen development program. In September, we announced a major hydrogen breakthrough when we ran an AJAX integral engine on a mix of 30% hydrogen at our company test cell in Houston,” said Cooper CEO John Sargent. “The Southern Star test proves unequivocally that similar results can be achieved in the field and with a variety of engine models. When combined with Cooper’s combustion enhancement technology, the industry’s big bore engines are capable of impressive greenhouse gas reductions with additional improvements in reliability and efficiency. This is another large step toward greater adoption of hydrogen across the industry.”
“Southern Star is proud to be the first natural gas transmission company in the United States to achieve a 30% hydrogen blend in the recent testing of our reciprocating engine in Hugoton, Kansas. Our partnership with Cooper has been instrumental in the success this project,” said Shawn Patterson, president and CEO at Southern Star. “This testing presents emissions reductions opportunities on our road to being net zero by 2050.”