PRESS RELEASE | DOE Backs Oceanit to Produce HydroPel and Enable Clean Hydrogen Transmission Through the Nation’s Natural Gas Infrastructure

Energy, Press Release

Honolulu, HI – September 14, 2022 | Oceanit received renewed support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of HydroPel, a technology that is helping to establish a foundation for clean hydrogen (H2) in Hawai’i and across the United States. Hydrogen, while the simplest element in the periodic table, is regarded as a critical part of addressing the world’s biggest generational challenge: climate change.

Hydrogen is a clean burning fuel – and the transportation of H2 at scale is a crucial part of the energy transition as industries move towards zero-emission energies to address climate impacts. The use of H2 fuel will decarbonize processes that cannot be easily powered via renewable electricity, like logistics or steel-manufacturing.

Oceanit’s ongoing H2 projects support the DOE’s broader Hydrogen Shot program, part of the Energy Earthshots Initiative. The Hydrogen Shot initiative aims to accelerate breakthroughs for abundant, affordable, and reliable clean H2 energy solutions within the decade. HydroPel is a nano-scale surface treatment that can be applied in-place to existing steel pipeline infrastructure to prevent a dangerous phenomenon called ‘hydrogen embrittlement’.

HydroPel, and the prevention of pipeline embrittlement, is critical for DOE goals within hydrogen delivery; addressing key challenges of reducing cost, increasing efficiency, maintaining hydrogen purity, and minimizing hydrogen leakage.

Hydrogen embrittlement is a process in which hydrogen molecules diffuse into metals, making the metal brittle. This embrittlement, in steel pipelines or storage tanks, can lead to leaks or failures. To safely blend hydrogen into natural gas pipelines, this molecular diffusion must be prevented – either through brand new pipes made from expensive metals or by retrofitting existing pipelines.

HydroPel builds on Oceanit’s experience in developing advanced omniphobic treatments for industrial applications. HydroPel can be applied in-situ and acts as a nanocomposite barrier between H2 molecules and the pipe substrate, preventing H2 diffusion. HydroPel enables the repurposing of existing pipeline networks to safely carry H2, providing significant cost savings and allowing the U.S. to accelerate the hydrogen transformations strategy.

With renewed backing, Oceanit will now advance HydroPel towards field deployments in the energy and natural gas industry, paving the way for further validation.

HydroPel will be vital to the global energy transformation, enabling the use of existing natural gas infrastructure to deliver clean hydrogen and unlocking over 3 million miles of already-existing natural gas pipeline. By eliminating the need to rebuild entire networks of pipeline, HydroPel will accelerate H2 usage on a massive scale, providing a critical step towards achieving the DOE’s Hydrogen Shot goals and delivering a 16% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.


Hydrogen technology development is part of Oceanit’s EDGE (Energy & Decarbonization for the Global Environment) initiative: addressing an array of next-generation energy decarbonization challenges across the production, transmission, distribution, and storage of renewable energy.

Founded in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1985, Oceanit is a privately held ‘Mind to Market’ company, developing award-winning disruptive innovation that endeavors to solve important problems across sectors like aerospace, energy, environment & climate, ocean sciences, health, and materials. Oceanit employs the unique discipline of ‘Intellectual Anarchy’ to transform fundamental science developed in the lab into impactful technologies for the market. Oceanit creates cutting-edge solutions, services, and products.