In 2022 there will be some changes in the IGC, two of these have already happened:
- François de Bussy, Air Liquide, and Didier Miniscloux took over;
- Christoph Herrmann, Linde, and Nikos Larass took over;
- Johann Ringhofer, Messer, will retire in the year.
The main themes discussed are highlighted in the next chapter and a detailed overview of the themes emerged in the meetings is reported in the chapter: “Themes under attention of the Working Groups”.
In addition to these elements, some other topics has been discussed in the IGC meetings: connection with other Councils; minutes structure; incident requiring special attention.
The first theme highlights how it is necessary to recover moments of information exchange between the Councils. Unfortunately, this point has weakened due to the pandemic which prevented face-to-face meetings, but the exchange of information will be restored, or improved, with the new normality. It was highlighted how, for some issues, it might be appropriate to have a dedicated exchange, for example for incidents of particular importance or for procedures that may touch the topics of different Councils.
Emerging themes from the WGs (short summary of the main critical items of the WGs)
IGC is covering eight WGs. The documents and themes of these WGs involve a lot of aspect in gas field. Up to now, 10 new or revised document was produced in 2022 (see chapter Documents issued, at the end of the document).
- WG1, Impact of BLEVE legislation of vehicles;
- WG2, Impact on cylinders testing (Brexit);
- WG3, Safety location of vent distances;
- WG4, Harmonized documents;
- WG6, Documents to be revised;
- WG8, Impact on valves or pipes or fittings;
- WG11, Resources for standardisation activities/e.g. refuelling standardisation;
- WG12, DMF restriction uses;
- WG14, Hydrogen safety production;
- WG18, Knowledge to be found on incidents.
In the next scheme the main themes that can have an impact on our business are visualised.
All topics are considered to be under the control of the WG member.
Of these points, the focus is, according to the IGC, on the themes of WG3 and WG 11:
- Safe location of oxygen and inert vents
- Resources for standardisation activities/ refuelling standardisation.
The risk to our business could arise from an external decision by the legislator or institutions.
There is a strong work by the members of the working group to follow what happens in the table of this institutions to try, when possible, to address the decision.
This "external" work is becoming more and more important and requires resources that are not always available.
In general, this last point seems to increase in importance as not being present at the tables where decisions are made could have some impact on our business.
This point, that is to always ensure the presence at external meetings, is difficult to resolve due to the low number of people who can participate, but it must still be addressed.
A visual impact of the main items for each WG is represented in the below picture. The picture reports the estimated magnitude of the themes. More detailed information on the work of the working groups is provided in the next chapter.
Themes under attention of the Working Groups
Fuel Cell/Fully Electric Trucks ADR Task Force for Transportation of Dangerous Goods.
EIGA representatives participate in the meetings with competent authorities, manufacturers and other interested parties. After the push by regulators to get battery electrical (BEV) entered into ADR 2023, it now looks like for the 2023 regulation there may be a restriction to BEVs for non-flammable, non-toxic products
BLEVE: No further meetings held since previous IGC meeting. For now, it is unclear what ADR will request. However, the proposals seem difficult to be implemented as the chairman of the Joint Meeting wants a design that avoids tire fires from spreading to “any other part of the vehicle”, which currently seems technically impossible.
Consequences of BLEVE meetings: three measures will enter ADR in order to mitigate BLEVE incidents. These are fire resistant mudguards, engine fire suppression system and safety valves for tanks. Safety valves on tanks are not relevant to the industrial gases industry since all of its equipment has safety valves in line with regulations anyway. This is only relevant for liquefied gas tanks (e.g. LPG).
Automatic closing stop-valves in vapour phase of refrigerated liquefied tanks: EIGA proposed to avoid additional automatic closing valve on liquid hydrogen trailers (on the vapour phases). The proposal has been accepted. However, for new designs, it is necessary to include an automatic valve on the vapour phase.
Other ADR theme
Extra-large tank containers (tanks larger than 40,000 L geometrical volume with liquid chemicals): the changes in the new ADR will be applicable to all tank containers while before the text referred to tanks > 40,000L used for rail transport. It means that LHe and LH2, which are prohibited from rail transport, are affected. WG-1 members will be requested to check the implications now that this definition and the proposed new text is applicable to our equipment.
UN Disilane Air Transport
Creation of UN number for disilane: EIGA has withdrawn its original paper upon the request of CGA who were not in line with the EIGA position. CGA will prepare a new paper for a later UN meeting in coordination with EIGA. On hold for now.
WG-4 has drafted an new paper and WG-1 did not have any further comments. To be submitted through WG-4.
Note: Motivation was to disallow disilane for air transport.
In-house Cylinder Retesting
There was discussion in the WG on the scope of work to be allowed for in-house inspection services (IS). There is a proposal to restrict their capabilities only to pressure receptacles that they own themselves. This would make retesting more expensive without added value. EIGA argued accordingly and submitted an INF document which was discussed. Many national delegates seem to be in favour of EIGA’s position. EIGA will remain vigilant on this item.
The theme has not been placed on the agenda of the next TPED NoBo working group meeting yet. EIGA will keep observing this closely. We now have two members in the Type B NoBo Group (AL and Messer). So we can listen in to everything concerning Type B bodies. However, we’re still fairly blind in the Type A body meetings and have to rely on Type A bodies friendly to us to keep us informed and argue in our favour, which may or may not happen.
Empty uncleaned cylinders
The Competent Authority is again protesting the gases industry taking back cylinders from customers. They are of the opinion that these should be handled as full cylinders, especially if they are equipped with pressure gauges. EIGA still believes that the actual procedure is good and safe and will argue accordingly.
It has been discussed to replace EN 13530 (Cryogenic vessels - Large transportable vacuum insulated vessels) -with ISO 20421. The ISO standard is more recent and ISO does not have the same lack of resources. However, there would be technical implications for the design of our tanks in Europe, which is why WG-1 is reluctant to support the change.
WG-2: Gas Cylinders and Pressure Vessels
Cylinder wall thickness to reject cylinders
EIGA and ECMA agree to allow isolated pits and to allow a percentage below minimum wall thickness. For what concerns the wall thickness allowance, there has been an agreement with ECMA on the 2% allowance. The paper has been presented but not yet approved
Tubes trailers 15 years retest regime (on going). Inert gases, H2 and He.
There was not a common position between WG2 and ECMA to increase the testing interval up to 15 years. It was decided to create an EIGA+ECMA informal working group to discuss the provisions under which an extension of the retest up to 15 years could be eventually accepted. Informal Working Group will start end of January 2022.
Consideration of tubes trailers external corrosion: ECMA states could be external corrosion between cylinders. We have performed a study of the receptacles rejected during the last 5 to 20 years; this study is based on result provided by 4 companies operated in 6 countries, meaning a sample of about 300 battery vehicles and 60.000 receptacles.
For what concerns the changes in the ADR regulation, it is proposed that in the 2023 version of ADR there will be a concept about how to work with DOT cylinders. Wolfgang Doerner presented a document showing the DOT text for TPED cylinders under DOT regulation and his interpretation and the ADR text for DOT cylinder under ADR regulation. WG2 supports this work item and proposed to create a technical bulletin, which WG have done and is available in TB folder on EIGA MS Teams side.
There was considerable discussions about the implications transportable pressure equipment covered by TPED as well as static pressure equipment covered by PED. The solution is not simple. The CGA is finalizing a document on the guide for the gas manufactures on cylinder testing. EIGA will just refer to this document. The change may affect the existing cylinders.
Two documents published:
- DOC 908/22 “300 Bar Residual Pressure Valve Filling Connectors”
- DOC 15. Gaseous H2 Stations: the document has been approved and published as TB42.
WG-3: Atmospheric Gases Process & Equipment
DOC 43-Cryogenic carbon absorbers.
Cryogenic carbon absorbers, DOC 43. It was proposed to archive the document as there was no real interest to update document. One member requests to keep the document in the library and to review it.
DOC 154: Safe location of oxygen and inert vents
AHG 3.34: is working on and there will be a major rewrite based on Vent Jet calculation. Safety distances now seem more realistic (the numbers are bigger). The document covers only Oxygen and Inert gases vents. These changes will impact members of EU and USA and it will impact only new installations.
Availability of experts in specialty gases
Availability of experts in specialty gases seems to be a problem due to its scarcity.
Harmonisation of EIGA documents with CGA documents
Documents under revisions:
- Doc 39 “The Safe preparation of gas mixtures (Harmonized)”. The document was sent for publication approval, to be published in March/April.
- IGC Doc 80 “Handling gas container emergencies. Expected publication at the end of April.
- Doc 139 The Safe preparation of compressed / oxidant gas mixtures (Harmonized).
- The document was sent for IGC approval, to be published in May.
- GC Doc 160/15 “Code of Practice – Silane” (Harmonized)
- International Standardization: there has been a proposal to create UN Numbers for pyrophoric gases and add criteria for pyrophoric gases in Division 2.1 submitted by CGA and EIGA to the UN TDG sub-Committee in 2017.
- IGC Doc 161 “Gas compatibility with aluminium alloy cylinders”: the revision is due for 2023, and it may involve a collaboration with WG-2.
Documents under revision
- The document EIGA Doc 66/08 - Refrigerated Carbon Dioxide Storage at Users Premises has been published.
- The WG is working on the following documents (the IGC will receive work item request):
Installation of indoor CO2 vessels,
Manufacturing inspection of liquid CO2 trailers
Static high pressure CO2 vessel operation and inspection.
- Discussion regarding ambient vaporizers installed on customer installation sites, related to a certain manufacturing type and its possible damage following repetitive operations (freezing and defrosting). However, it is not clear what is expected from the document. Not a conclusion yet on the next steps. More information will be given.
Materials in contact whit food gases.
Document was drafted following the last conference call of the AHG 8.4 Food Contact Material a new document was drafted => Title “Guidelines for assessment of materials in contact with food gases” Ongoing Work with AHG 8.4. The document is almost finalized and then will be passed to WG8 to finalize the work.
The CGA Food Gases Committee Task force investigating assessment sampling for FSSC certification. EIGA has kept in touch with FSSC22000/ISO22000 organization but for the time being there is no possibility to introduce the EIGA/CGA request
Harmonized document Doc 174-21 “Guidelines for the safe installation and use cryogenic food freezing and cooling equipment”.
It was established a task force with EIGA and CGA members. Two meetings have been held in which the work on the document revision has started.
Hydrogen quality specification
There are several new standards/norms on hydrogen:
- ISO 14687-2 « Hydrogen fuel -- Product specification -- Part 2: Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications for road vehicles »
- ISO 19880-8 : « Gaseous hydrogen — Fuelling stations — Part 8: Fuel quality control »
- EN 17124 « Hydrogen fuel - Product specification and quality assurance - Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications for road vehicles”.
WG-11 has been mandated by CEN TC268 WG-5 to propose a draft document for a European standard for H2 quality.
Refueling Protocols are defining the way to fill cars or other vehicles from a refueling station. They are one of the key factors for safe efficient and competitive supply of H2 to mobility applications. WG-11 has initiated work to build a common position concerning the expectations of the H2 suppliers about the next generation of refueling protocols to be implemented on cars after 2025.
Interface HRS, Tube Trailer:
Establish an industry position about standardization of the interface between tube trailer and H2 Refueling Station – WG-11 decided to put on hold due to lack of alignment internally for each member.
CCU - CO2 as a co-product of H2
CCU - CO2 as a co-product of H2: Promoting the Emitter Payer Principle.
Pending decision from REC & IGC on how to proceed on this topic.
Preparing standardisation activity related to new usages of Liquid H2 for H2 energy infrastructure. EIGA needed to be able to share relevant docs to prepare the work on those standards. WG-11 may develop a position.
Work request regarding the standardization of the HRS: Establish an industry position about Standardization of the Interface between Tube trailer and H2 Refuelling Station.
Document under revision:
1. DOC 2XX – Purification, Compression and Drying of Acetylene
2. DOC 2XX – Safe Filling of Acetylene Cylinders
3. DOC 2XX – Blowing Down Acetylene Cylinders
4. DOC 196 – CALCIUM CARBIDE STORAGE AND HANDLING
5. DOC 205 – CALCIUM CARBIDE SPECIFICATIONS
WG-14: Hydrogen production (previously HyCO)
H2 safety and handling and H2 production methods
Currently working on two new documents: the first is an overview of H2 safety and handling, the second is an overview of H2 production methods. We are mindful that there are a lot of newcomers to the H2 business, so we are starting with basics. We are also continuing with literature reviews with a plan to focus next on plugging any gaps. Plan to have meeting with WG-11 to get more familiar with their activities and to ensure we are aligned (WG-11 focus is on H2 energy and users).
1. Safety of Hydrogen HyCO Production and Carbon Capture - Approaching completion.
2. Hydrogen Production Overview – In earlier stages of preparation.
Much interest on the addition of H2 to existing pipeline systems.
All the hydrogen documents are public. The purpose of the work item request is to reduce the number from three to one document and keeping the ASME code as primary source for design these systems.
Additionally, we ask to WG-14 to produce two new documents, in order to show that EIGA is the expert on the topic of hydrogen safety. One document will show to the external stakeholders that we are designing the process safely. The second is about an overview of all the kind of commercial producing technologies.
A new ad hoc group will be created. It will work on a third (new) public document, which will deal with hydrogen logistic and applications.
Analysis of the incidents: all companies listed known incidents in a table. The majority of the incidents have been analysed. For all reviewed accidents, lessons learned and a number of requirements have been listed, in order to be matched with the existing documentation in a gap analysis.
The document on N2O proceeds. Some tests on the hypergolic reaction are under the attention of the working group.
Documents issued in 2022
DOC 80 / 22 - Handling Gas Container Emergencies
DOC 132 / 22 - Unmanned Airgas Plants: Design and Operation
TB 43 / 22 - Secondary Identification of H2 Vehicle at Dispenser
DOC 39 / 22 - The Safe Preparation of Gas Mixtures
TB 42 / 22 - Welded Gaseous Storage Vessels and Hydrogen Compatibility
DOC 66 / 22 - Refrigerated CO2 Storage at Users' Premises
DOC 138 / 22 - PTFE Used as a Sealant for Cylinder/Valve Connections
DOC 908 / 22 - 300 Bar Residual Pressure Valve Filling Connectors
DOC 240 / 22 - Commodity Specification Acetylene
DOC 62 / 22 - Methods to Avoid and Detect Internal Gas Cylinder Corrosion of Gas Cylinders and Tubes