Hydrogen embrittlement is one of the key hurdles to overcome that would promote wider-spread adoption of Hydrogen energy, transported through existing pipeline infrastructure.
4 April 2022, Honolulu, HI | Oceanit is developing fresh approaches to long-discussed problems around Hydrogen fuel technology. The U.S. Department of Energy selected Oceanit to develop several of these breakthrough H2 technologies to support the ongoing global energy transformation to sustainable energy sources. Hydrogen may well be the key to global decarbonization because it is an extremely efficient, clean-burning fuel.
Compressing and transporting H2 through existing natural gas infrastructure is considered the most efficient and economical pathway to further hydrogen energy adoption. The good news is that the US already has nearly 3 million miles of natural gas pipeline that link production to storage to consumers. However, moving H2 through already-existing infrastructure comes with some risks.
“Hydrogen embrittlement” is a phenomenon that occurs when H2’s relatively small molecules penetrate metals, making pipe walls brittle and at risk of rupture. In moving larger amounts of H2 via existing pipelines, the gas poses a high risk of cracks and leaks. Oceanit is developing nanocomposite surface treatments to protect pipes from failure, focusing two key benefits: first, is creating a nano-protective barrier on the pipe interior to shield against H2 penetration, minimizing diffusion into the metal. Second, the treatment creates an omniphobic “ultra-slick” surface that has the added benefit of drag reduction, thereby reducing the energy cost to compress and transport hydrogen gas.
Oceanit’s technologies will make H2 safer to transport, store, and distribute in existing pipeline infrastructure; a critical part of enabling more widespread use. Oceanit’s H2 work is part of the EDGE initiative: tackling an array of next-gen energy challenges like nanoscale system efficiency, predictive and prescriptive AI, carbon capture technologies, functional metamaterials, and developing new energy sources, like “green” hydrogen. EDGE (Energy & Decarbonization for the Global Environment) has many moving parts, including work across production, transmission, refining, and distribution of 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.