Loss of integrity of hydrogen technologies: A critical review

Federico Ustolin, Nicola Paltrinieri, Filippo Berto

Abstract: Hydrogen is one of the main candidates in replacing fossil fuels in the forthcoming years. However, hydrogen technologies must deal with safety aspects due to the specific substance properties. This study aims to provide an overview on the loss of integrity (LOI) of hydrogen equipment, which may lead to serious consequences, such as fires and explosions. Substantial information regarding the hydrogen lifecycle, its properties, and safety related aspects has gathered. Furthermore, focus has placed on the phenomena responsible for the LOI (e.g. hydrogen embrittlement) and material selection for hydrogen services. Moreover, a systematic review on the hydrogen LOI topic has conducted to identify and connect the most relevant and active research group within the topic. In conclusion, a significant dearth of knowledge in material behaviour of hydrogen technologies has highlighted. It is thought that is possible to bridge this gap by strengthening the collaborations between scientists from different research fields.

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 45, Issue 43, 3 September 2020, Pages 23809-23840

An innovative and comprehensive approach for the consequence analysis of liquid hydrogen vessel explosions

Federico UstolinNicola PaltrinieriGabriele Landucci

Abstract: Hydrogen is one of the most suitable solutions to replace hydrocarbons in the future. Hydrogen consumption is expected to grow in the next years. Hydrogen liquefaction is one of the processes that allows for increase of hydrogen density and it is suggested when a large amount of substance must be stored or transported. Despite being a clean fuel, its chemical and physical properties often arise concerns about the safety of the hydrogen technologies. A potentially critical scenario for the liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks is the catastrophic rupture causing a consequent boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion (BLEVE), with consequent overpressure, fragments projection and eventually a fireball. In this work, all the BLEVE consequence typologies are evaluated through theoretical and analytical models. These models are validated with the experimental results provided by the BMW care manufacturer safety tests conducted during the 1990's. After the validation, the most suitable methods are selected to perform a blind prediction study of the forthcoming LH2 BLEVE experiments of the Safe Hydrogen fuel handling and Use for Efficient Implementation (SH2IFT) project. The models drawbacks together with the uncertainties and the knowledge gap in LH2 physical explosions are highlighted. Finally, future works on the modelling activity of the LH2 BLEVE are suggested.

Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 68, November 2020, 104323

Federico Ustolin

Abstract: Hydrogen is one of the most suitable candidates to replace hydrocarbons and reduce the environmental pollution and CO2 emissions. Hydrogen is valuable energy carrier, potentially clean and renewable thanks to its peculiar properties. However, hydrogen has a few characteristics, such as high flammability and low density that must be taken into account when stored or handled, especially in relation to the associated safety. For this reason, this PhD study aims to increase the knowledge on safety of hydrogen technologies.

Hydrogen safety is a broad topic which involves several disciplines. This PhD focusses on the modelling of atypical accident scenarios of liquid hydrogen (LH2) technologies by adopting a multidisciplinary approach. This type of accident scenarios is called atypical because they have low probability to happen but high consequences. A few times, the neglection of these scenarios by conventional risk assessment techniques led to major accidents. For this reason, the atypical accident scenario cannot be omitted during a risk assessment and must be further analysed.