Thursday, August 17, 2017

Is Hydrogen Safe?

August 18, 2010 by lwatts  
Filed under Why Hydrogen

Since the infamous Hindenburg disaster in 1937, hydrogen has developed a bad reputation as being a dangerous option for replacing conventional gasoline. Hydrogen is considered a fuel which means that it is combustible, but many of its properties make this element safer than many might think. If hydrogen fuel leaks or spills, it disperses and evaporates much quicker than gasoline, which minimizes risk of explosion hazards. Hydrogen is only explosive if it is able to significantly build up in an enclosed space, but this is difficult because hydrogen atoms are so small and can easily escape. In addition, hydrogen tanks have undergone rigorous but successful testing such as exposure to extreme temperatures, perforation with solid objects such as bullets, and intense pressurization. The once negative image of hydrogen is changing, and many are embracing the benefits that this element offers as a source of fuel.


One Response to “Is Hydrogen Safe?”
  1. Hydrogen is being used for decades in large quantity to cool the Generators of large Power Plants. Some of these are 850 MW in size. These Hydrogen cooling systems are complex, so there is a chance, that something could go wrong. There is electricty, the chance for arking, and high temperature as well. But if the safety procedures are followed by the maintenance crew and the operators. Believe me, Hydrogen is safe. I am retired now, but in my 30 years of service, we never had an explosion or other significant problem related to 8 X 850 MW Generating systems. I just want to clerify it again, here Hydrogen is used as a coolant, not as fuel, but that doesn’t change the fact, that Hydrogen is one of the most explosive gas known by men.

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