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Hydrogen Safety - 1. Introduction

Hydrogen Safety#


This document reviews the literature available regarding the safety aspects of using hydrogen as a fuel for automobiles. Past experiences of hydrogen are reviewed and it is found that the Hindenburg accident would still have happened even if inert Helium was used for buoyancy. The track record of hydrogen usage is explored and it is found that hydrogen has been used safely for many years. The storage and use of hydrogen on the vehicle is found to be safer than a typical gasoline vehicle. In addition, the properties of hydrogen are reviewed against the properties of gasoline in an attempt to provide a comparison with an accepted vehicle fuel. It is found that the properties of hydrogen make it safer in the event of an accident and fuel leak scenario, with a possible exception being an unvented, fully enclosed space. Finally, the safety aspects of a FCEV and hydrogen filling stations are explored and recommendations made.


  1. Introduction
  2. Fear of the Unknown
  3. Common Misconceptions
  4. Proven Track Record
  5. Gasoline vs. Hydrogen
  6. Safety Considerations
    1. Main Considerations for FCEVs
    2. Filling Stations
  7. Conclusions
  8. References

1. Introduction#

Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) are set to become a key part of the future for sustainable transport [1]. Riversimple are to produce a hydrogen powered FCEV in which the main energy storage will be compressed hydrogen gas.
In general, there is a lack of public understanding of hydrogen as a fuel, and of fuel cell technology [2]. This document will attempt to increase the visibility of the issues of hydrogen in a balanced and critical manner by summarising independent research on hydrogen safety.

Click to CONTINUE READING: 2. Fear of the Unknown

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« This page (revision-5) was last changed on 26-Aug-2010 14:59 by simvaughan1