Hydrogen – the new fuel for the 21st Century?
Most probably yes, and more so with the global challenges faced with over-reliance on gas from further afield. And for Hazchem Safety, we’re working with manufacturers and influencers in the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell field to develop a better understanding of the protective clothing and equipment required for workers in this sector.
UKHFCA – supporting the Hydrogen Transition
UKHFCA is the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association and is dedicated to supporting stakeholders across the entire value chain of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell industry. A great leader in advocating the transition to Net Zero in the UK by promoting the deployment of solutions in the hydrogen and fuel cell industries. You can find out more about UKHFCA by visiting their website at http://www.ukhfca.co.uk/ and http://www.ukhfca.co.uk/about/
Where is Hydrogen Used?
Although it remains limited, Hydrogen Fuel is on the up in the UK. There are 11 hydrogen refueling stations, with 2 more under construction. You can also catch a ride to our new trade counter in Dyce thanks to the 10 double-decker hydrogen fuel cell buses in Aberdeen (and in other UK cities). And now some boats, aircraft and trains are taking advantage of this alternative fuel, particularly where electric motors powered by batteries are often impractical in some of these applications.
What are the risks?
As with traditional fuels, the manufacture, storage, and transportation of hydrogen is a dangerous business. It takes just 0.02mJ of energy to ignite a 2:1 mixture of hydrogen to oxygen – 10 times less than LPG, and low enough for even the smallest spark to cause an explosion. Hydrogen can be stored both as a compressed gas or as a liquid at less than -252°C. These low temperatures make handling dangerous. With both storage methods, if hydrogen was allowed to escape in an uncontrolled manner, this alone can cause ignition and flames of over 2,000°C.
How we can help reduce the risk
- HSE guidance to mitigate the high risk of ignition includes wearing antistatic clothing and footwear in hazardous areas – we have a range of products to meet these criteria. This clothing range is also Flame Retardant, reducing the risk of injury in the event of a fire or explosion.
- Cryogenic equipment is needed when working with liquid hydrogen – the Cryogenic PPE Safety Kit is an all-in-one solution for this.
- Having dangerous substances labelled is all part of reducing risk. Hydrogen comes under Class 2 Flammable Gas under ADR regulations. We can provide the necessary ADR signage for this too.
Hazchem Safety works with BOC, Air Liquide and Air Products, which are three large providers of Hydrogen in the UK, to whom we supply protective equipment which contributes to the safe handling of dangerous gases.
Contact one of our Trusted Advisors to discuss the range of PPE available from Hazchem Safety.
T: 01280 841400
Distribution at Brackley and Aberdeen
Regional Offices at Middlesbrough, Hull and Londonderry