Fueling the Future with Hydrogen
The smallest and lightest known molecule is making a big impact throughout the energy industry and beyond. With a variety of uses – including as a renewable power source – hydrogen continues to gain traction in the clean energy debate. While the private sector tends to lead the charge in the clean energy transition, 2023 will see new government subsidy programs and tax credits that support green hydrogen projects1. We take a closer look at new and upcoming trends for hydrogen applications in 2023.
Innovators and engineers are still developing the equipment required to produce, store, and transport hydrogen safely and effectively. The element’s high permeability can cause sealing issues, while its low lubricity can have negative effect on wear components and equipment life. Valves and compressors are two of the most common components that can be engineered to specifically work with hydrogen’s unique properties.
A light, low-density gas, hydrogen can penetrate any kind of polymer or metal, resulting in leakage and to equipment failure. One approach to this problem is cross-linking a material with minimal permeation, like PEEK (polyetheretherketone), lowering the diffusion coefficient and improving performance in a hydrogen environment. Greene Tweed’s Arlon 3000XT® crosslinked PEEK is an ideal choice for valve seats in a demanding hydrogen environment, while WR® 600, a PFA composite with unique dry-running properties, is best suited for non-lubricated applications.
Critical for storing and transporting hydrogen, compressors will need to keep up with the increased demand for clean energy. As with valves and other engineered equipment, centrifugal, diaphragm and reciprocating compressors need to be redesigned or upgraded to perform in a hydrogen environment. Greene Tweed offers a wide range of seals, piston rings, valve plates, lightweight non-metallic impellers, and other compressor components in a variety of unique materials suited for hydrogen power.
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