Safety and performance of materials that transport and store hydrogen are essential for the energy transition  

DNV, an independent energy expert and assurance provider, has recently opened a dedicated hydrogen testing and research laboratory to quantify the performance of materials used in hydrogen transportation and storage.  The new lab is an expansion of DNV’s materials performance and testing laboratory in Columbus, Ohio.  

Hydrogen-based energy can decarbonize power generation from fossil fuels, extend the reach of renewable energy through conversion to zero-emissions fuels, and provide much-needed energy storage. It is essential for a clean energy future as it helps to reduce emissions from hard-to-abate sectors such as shipping, aviation, and high-heat manufacturing. DNV’s new hydrogen laboratory services, paired with DNV’s longstanding industry-leading experience in materials testing, will provide the industry with needed knowledge and insights for the design and construction of new assets, and for the management of existing assets used for hydrogen transportation and storage. Repurposing existing infrastructure has a key role to play in the adoption of hydrogen, with almost 8 in 10 professionals in the energy industry saying that infrastructure will be essential to developing a large-scale hydrogen economy. Lack of investment in infrastructure is also the greatest risk to making progress with hydrogen, as reported in DNV’s survey of more than 1,100 energy professionals.  

Evaluating materials in gaseous hydrogen environments is a natural extension of DNV’s capabilities, knowledge and experience. The dedicated hydrogen laboratory and expanded capabilities will explore how different hydrogen environments, such as pure hydrogen and hydrogen and natural gas blends, affect the performance of materials used for hydrogen transportation and storage. The hydrogen testing and research laboratory houses 15 dedicated mechanical frames, each equipped with an autoclave for testing and research in high-pressure (up to ~300 bar) hydrogen environments. The new facility is part of the materials technology laboratory which has a substantial pool of equipment available for various testing and research purposes. The equipment allows DNV to impart various operational and environmental conditions to research the material’s response to different possible service conditions.   

DNV’s materials technology laboratory has long been at the forefront of materials testing and research, especially for the upstream oil and gas industry. Over the past ten years, the laboratory has contributed significantly to industry understanding of complex material issues. The lab has improved and enhanced engineering-critical assessments used by the upstream oil and gas industry to characterize risk for assets deployed in sour service environments, conditions involving seawater and cathodic protection, and high temperature/high pressure sour conditions. The addition of the Hydrogen Lab will allow the industry to gain knowledge of how hydrogen performs and enable the decarbonization in hard to abate sectors.  

Beyond understanding material performance in hydrogen environments, DNV has a large group of industry-recognized experts in the area of engineering critical assessment.  These experts combine material property data from hydrogen testing with client-specific operational conditions to perform customized assessments for new or existing assets, allowing customers to make informed decisions with respect to asset integrity management.  

“Hydrogen is a crucial element to decarbonize difficult to abate sectors, but, according to DNV’s 2021 ETO, hydrogen will only make up 5 percent of energy supply by 2050. Market mechanisms need to exist to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen, but before that, there needs to be assurance that hydrogen transportation and storage is safe and reliable,” said Richard S. Barnes, regional director, Energy Systems North America at DNV. “Knowledge generation is the first step in understanding and mitigating the risks in this nascent but rapidly developing technology, and the new facility at DNV’s lab will provide the industry with the required knowledge it needs to move forward.”   

To learn more about DNV’s materials performance and testing laboratory and its hydrogen testing capabilities please visit


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