Hydrogen Hazards Unit

Schlieren image of a hydrogen flame cone.

Our unique centre has 12 years experience providing knowledge and expertise to industry on the safety of hydrogen produced or contained in a variety of sensitive environments

We're working with this highly-flammable gas to support its use in industrial and transport systems. In conjunction with Sellafield Ltd we have devised a Hydrogen Technical Guide, used to help deal with both day-to-day hydrogen safety issues and assist in building safety cases. We are proud to have recently joined with Sellafield Ltd in a long-term partnership agreement to provide the scientific knowledge to their Centre of Expertise on Flammable Gases.

Mass sliding ignition test apparatus on two planes.
Simulation of the flame-front being vented from the EFRG explosion rig.

Our experimental work is looking at the ignition of hydrogen in air by a range of mechanical stimuli, and exploring new methods for the mitigation of ignition and suppression of hydrogen in air mixtures, such as using fine water mists and chemical additives.

We have a variety of custom made apparatus for studying the ignition of hydrogen in air, and hydrogen/ oxygen/ nitrogen mixtures.

Modelling work has simulated mitigation of hydrogen explosions, suppression of hydrogen flames and hydrogen gas dispersion behaviour, and has been validated against experimental test data.

We employ schlieren systems and high speed video to visualise hydrogen gas dispersion (e.g. bubbles) and flame behaviour, which cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Our expertise in this area has resulted in a number of publications on hydrogen ignition and explosion mitigation.

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