The H2TRUST consortium – including associations, leading companies, universities, technological and research centres from seven countries – will also emphasise the importance of hydrogen safety among all stakeholders.
Co-funded by the EC-supported Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the project will run until November 2014. The project is led by Barcelona-based MATGAS, a joint venture between Air Products, the National Research Council of Spain, and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
The consortium members include Air Products, European Hydrogen Association, Solvay Speciality Polymers Italy, Politecnico di Milano, McPhy Energy in France, SOL SpA and CiaoTech (PNO Group) in Italy, and Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.
One of the consortium’s main goals is to assess industry efforts to ensure fuel cell and hydrogen (FCH) technology remains safe, and that there is adequate regulation, hazard awareness, incident readiness, and ability to respond to any public concerns. To ensure its goals are met, the consortium will meet regularly.
Risk assessments will focus on each of the main application areas: hydrogen production, storage and distribution, mobility and vehicles, non-vehicles, and residential power generation. The consortium expects that the results will help to create a long-lasting culture of preventive safety in the industry, as well as a legacy of tools and knowledge that reinforce best practice and public confidence.
‘We hope that H2TRUST will help to accelerate the full-scale commercialisation of fuel cells and hydrogen applications in Europe, by providing accurate information to the public about the benefits of these technologies for a sustainable future,’ says Dr Lourdes Vega, Director of the Spanish R&D centre MATGAS.
Although hydrogen is perhaps mostly recognised for its use in the aeronautic and space sectors, it is widely used in a variety of manufacturing processes. Hydrogen is used in refineries to convert heavy crude oils into cleaner-burning gasoline; in metal processors to reduce metal oxides and prevent oxidation; in the chemical industry to synthesise compounds such as ammonia; and most recently in fuel cells powering ultra-low-emission cars, buses, locomotives, aircraft, and even submarines.