It’s Time to Put Safe Hydrogen to Work.

Global interest and enthusiasm for hydrogen has been growing in recent years. Introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act in the US, G20 conversations, and countless discussions and partnerships formed during COP-27 have accelerated that growth.

The Hydrogen Landscape

Around the world, people are coming to believe that hydrogen can be a driver of entire sectors of the global economy.

Illustrative chart showing the various and many industries tied to safe hydrogen use.

Making Hydrogen a Leader in the Global Energy Economy

We need two things to happen. We need hydrogen – blue, grey, and green hydrogen – enough to meet the needs of a thriving global economy. And we need standards and rules to make it all come together safely.

The Safe Hydrogen Project, and Compressed Gas Association are leading the charge to draft the rules and standards that will govern how we fit hydrogen seamlessly into a global economy.

Luckily, we’ve got a pretty good head start. The Compressed Gas Association has been writing standards for the Hydrogen Economy for nearly 70 years.

Did You Know?

Hydrogen has been safely produced and used around the globe for nearly a century.

As with every fuel, safe handling practices are required but hydrogen is non-toxic and does not, by itself, pose a threat to human or environmental health if released.

Hydrogen is the smallest and simplest element on earth.

Safety Considerations

Hydrogen is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so most human senses won’t help to detect a leak. Because of this, the industry often uses hydrogen sensors to help detect hydrogen leaks and has maintained a high safety record using them for decades…

Hydrogen is 14 times lighter than air and rapidly rises. If it becomes trapped hydrogen can easily collect ignite and explode.

Canopies/roofs over hydrogen systems must prevent the accumulation of hydrogen and include a properly designed hydrogen vent system. Any canopy over hydrogen systems must direct the outlets of all hydrogen vent devices to vent systems that releases hydrogen above the canopy.

See CGA Standard: CGA G-5.5, Hydrogen Vent Systems for more information of Hydrogen Venting.

Like gasoline and natural gas, hydrogen is flammable and can behave dangerously under specific conditions. Hydrogen has a wide flammability range (4-74% in air) and the energy required to ignite hydrogen can be very low.

Hydrogen embrittlement is a phenomenon in which hydrogen atoms enter the crystal structure of a metal and cause it to become brittle and prone to failure. It is most commonly observed in high-strength steels, such as those used in the construction of bridges and pipelines.

Hydrogen embrittlement can occur when a metal is exposed to hydrogen gas at high pressure, or when it is immersed in a hydrogen-containing liquid, such as hydrochloric acid. The hydrogen atoms can enter the metal through cracks or defects in the surface, or through the grain boundaries of the crystal structure. Once inside the metal, the hydrogen atoms can weaken the bonds between the atoms, causing the metal to become brittle and prone to failure.

Hydrogen embrittlement occurs most notably in steels, as well as in iron, nickel, titanium, cobalt, and their alloys. Copper, aluminum, and stainless steels are less susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement.

To prevent hydrogen embrittlement, it is important to use materials that are resistant to the effects of hydrogen, and to design structures to minimize the risk of hydrogen penetration. In addition, it is important to properly clean and maintain equipment to prevent the buildup of hydrogen-containing contaminants.

See CGA Standard: CGA G-5, Hydrogen for more information of Hydrogen Venting.

Addressing Safety Considerations: The Standards

Unlocking the potential of hydrogen energy by developing safety standards and fostering their adoption across the interconnected global economy. Our motto; safety is step one.

Learn More

Hydrogen Safety Videos

Hydrogen Safety 101: The Basics

CGA | Sept 16, 2022

Hydrogen Safety: Vent Stacks

CGA | Aug 3, 2022

Hydrogen Safety: Roofs Over Hydrogen

CGA | Aug 3, 2022

Get Involved.

Interested in joining CGA and working on the safety standards that will guide this growing industry?