HYDROGEN IS H2
What is hydrogen? Hydrogen is an atom, with symbol H, atomic number 1 and atomic mass 1.0079. Hydrogen gas is a chemical element that arises when two hydrogen atoms unite and form H2. In 1671, hydrogen was first mentioned by Arthur Doyle, but it was Antoine Lavoisier who gave the name about 200 years later. It is called hydrogen because it (also) is created by the electrolysis of water. Hydrogen is a high explosive gas and delivers one of the highest flame temperatures. The flame is not visible (ultraviolet).
HYDROGEN AS AN ENERGY CARRIER FOR STORAGE AND USE
Hydrogen connects (creates chemical bonds) with other elements in an exothermic reaction. For example, water is created by the combustion of hydrogen with oxygen. That is why hydrogen has been considered for 50 years as an alternative to fossil fuels. Hydrogen has been in the media a lot lately because of the need to temporarily store wind and solar energy during peak times and then inject it back into the energy grid if there is little production.
HYDROGEN AS A STARTING ELEMENT OF CHEMICAL REACTIONS
The hydrogen atom is found in most organic compounds and is used in chemistry as the starting product of many processes. Hydrogen is produced locally on the basis of fossil fuels. Research is currently being conducted into alternatives based on green hydrogen (by electrolysis with wind and solar energy).
OTHER APPLICATIONS OF HYDROGEN
Hydrogen is furthermore also used in the food industry for hydrating fats, in metal processing for treating metal, for welding as a protective gas (forming gas and others) and in numerous small niche applications.
HYDROGEN QUALITY NAMING CONVENTIONS E.G HYDROGEN 5.0
The quality of the gas is expressed in number of nines in the purity. When you see Hydrogen 5.0, Hydrogen 6.0, .. or any other number after the gas name it expresses the purity where the first number represents the number of 9’s in the purity and the number after the point the last digit in the purity. Hydrogen 5.0 is thus a 99,999 % pure gas. The remaining components are specified in the technical data sheet of the gas. This leads us to another important aspect of the quality: as nitrogen is also often used in food applications, the remaining components cannot be toxic or smell. Hydrogen (and its mixtures) for food applications is therefore sometimes called “FOOD GRADE” as the production processes and supply chain are designed in such a way that the FOOD GRADE quality can be guaranteed to the point of use. At Messer we call our food Hydrogen GOURMET H, whereby GOURMET stands for quality food gases and the H for the H in Hydrogen.
The quality supplied for automotive applications is called HYDROGEN ICE. It is purified so that it avoids to poison the catalyst in the fuel cells (the element that convert the hydrogen into electricity and produce water as a waste product).
PROPERTIES OF HYDROGEN
For more information about the properties as well as an easy calculator to convert between the units, Messer proposes its application in either Apple Store or Android Play
There are gas cylinders in different sizes and with different pressures. Depending on the type of gas in the bottle, the "shoulder" of the bottle has a different color, which is standardized under the European standard EN 1089-3. In the case of hydrogen, this is red (explosive gas). An overview of the different colors of the gas bottles can be found here.
In the industry, gas bottles of 200 bar are used. There are applications up to 500 bar, such as hydrogen tanks in cars.
Like all bottles, our gas bottles are treated on the inside, dried and chemically made passive. In this way we can guarantee optimum purity and avoid that our customers or our employees are exposed to certain risks because the gas bottles have not been treated properly by the previous user.
Because the bottles come in different shapes and pressures, it is important that the correct accessories are supplied. This way the gas can be led to your application under the right pressure and with the right flow rate. For hydrogen bottles, the thread may vary from country to country.
For large customers, hydrogen is also available in bundles (linked systems of 8-20 bottles). For very large customers, the gas bottle bundles are mounted on a trailer.
In the chemical industry and at other large customers, steam reformers provide the necessary amount of hydrogen for the customer. For certain renewable energy projects, the use of large electrolyzers for hydrogen production is also a very topical issue. Call our specialists for more information.
LARGE VOLUME SUPPLY OF HYDROGEN IN CONTAINERS
Customers that have big requirements of hydrogen can be supplied over the road. At the site of the customer a 40 bar pressure tank is installed (e.g. sizes of 50 or 100 m3 water volume). The trucks are offloaded by pressure transfer to these storage vessels. The threshold for producing the hydrogen onsite is relatively low (either by electrolysis or an endothermic reaction from a hydrocarbon feedstock) is relatively low as the economics of transporting hydrogen over the road are bad (less then 10 % of the payload of a truck will be hydrogen as hydrogen cannot be easily compressed). Ask for information to the Messer hydrogen specialists.
In only a few countries liquid hydrogen is available as it boils at temperatures close to the absolute zero and the energy cost of liquefying is very high and the economics of the liquefaction does not make sense.
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS & TECHNICAL DATA SHEETS HYDROGEN
For more information we refer to our product finder on this page.
You can buy hydrogen gas as a company or as a private individual at one of our distribution points in your country. Most customers order our bottles online or by telephone. Depending on the distribution point, you can collect the bottles or have them delivered to your home. Call us for more information about the delivery options.