Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Economic impact of applying high strength steels in hydrogen gas pipelines



Jeffrey W. Sowards, James R. Fekete, Robert L. Amaro


Pipeline steel will likely be employed extensively to transport gaseous hydrogen in support of a future clean energy economy. To date, a hydrogen-specific cost analysis of pipeline installation has not been produced. This paper performs several cost analysis in order to quantify cost differentials associated with hydrogen pipeline installation relative to (a) natural gas pipeline installation, (b) use of different pipe diameters and operating pressures, (c) use of X70 pipeline steel, and (d) use of X70 pipeline steel given a potential change in governing design code. The analysis concluded that there is a sizeable cost increase between natural gas and hydrogen pipeline installation (as much as 68%, depending upon conditions). Furthermore, the analysis concludes that considerable cost savings can be realized if a modification to the hydrogen pipeline design/engineering code were modified to allow the use of X70 steel without penalty. Cost saving on the order of 32% may be realized, relative to use of X52 designed to the current code.


steel, hydrogen, pipelines, fatigue, welding


Sowards, J. , Fekete, J. and Amaro, R. (2015), Economic impact of applying high strength steels in hydrogen gas pipelines, Energy, [online], (Accessed May 21, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 16, 2015, Updated October 12, 2021