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Hydrogen and its use in practice | TÜV Rheinland

Hydrogen and its use in practice.

As an energy carrier, hydrogen use has the potential to revolutionize many industries in the long term and steer them towards climate-neutrality. But this requires efficient technologies, which also applies to the use of hydrogen at the end of the value chain.

Regardless of how the hydrogen is ultimately used as an energy carrier, all applications have in common that they convert the hydrogen transported to the destination back into water by adding oxygen, whereby generating electricity and heat. This creates energy that can be used for the future of mobility, for heating private homes and commercial buildings, or even for applications in the industry.

Hydrogen fuels fuel cells.

The widespread use of hydrogen requires a safe and effective fuel cell technology, because fuel cells generate electricity and heat when hydrogen and oxygen are converted into water. If this conversion is done with green hydrogen that comes entirely from renewable energy sources, it is a completely climate-neutral hydrogen system. With a certification for climate-neutral hydrogen, you document the climate-friendly production and use of your hydrogen in a transparent way.

The working principle of fuel cell technology is relatively simple. The chemical energy of hydrogen is converted directly into electrical energy without an intermediate step. Fuel cell technology opens up a wide array of potential applications – from supplying electricity for private homes to climate-neutral vehicles for intralogistics and for transportation by road, rail, sea or even air in the future.

Energy source for transport, logistics and more.

The advantages of fuel cell technology are especially evident when vehicles with battery-powered electric motors cannot be used efficiently and profitably. With their comparatively short charging or refueling times and their lower weight, fuel cells are ideal when longer distances have to be covered with greater frequency. Therefore, the use of hydrogen is particularly beneficial for:

  • Local public bus transport
  • Freight transport on the road as well as industrial trucks
  • In-house logistics
  • Rail transport via fuel cell trains

Hydrogen can be used as an alternative drive technology in mobility.

Hydrogen for the generation of electricity and heat.

The use of hydrogen to generate electricity and heat is an established process for stationary applications, which has already been implemented in several countries. It offers the advantage that existing natural gas infrastructure can be used in an efficient way.

However, existing power and heat generators must be modified to be hydrogen compatible. Once they are, they effectively generate electricity and heat. But as special hydrogen burners are being developed and improved, the process is becoming increasingly more efficient. However, for all its benefits, stationary hydrogen installations continue to be faced with the main challenge of meeting explosion protection requirements for safety reasons.

Hydrogen use in the industry.

The industry is by far the largest user of hydrogen. Hydrogen is used in a wide range of applications in the steel and metal processing industry, the electrical, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, as well as to generate power. It therefore is clear that the industry holds the greatest potential for CO2 savings when fossil fuel-derived hydrogen is replaced with green hydrogen.

Many innovative technological developments are still at an early stage of application. However, the more they are standardized and used on a larger scale, the more efficiently hydrogen can be used in the industry.

Green hydrogen for climate-neutral applications.

Currently, the chemical industry is still the largest consumer of hydrogen. But the future lies in hydrogen use on a much larger scale – for carbon savings in the manufacturing industry, for sustainable mobility and transport concepts, for a sustainable hydrogen economy, and as the major goal: for a successful transition to renewable energy sources.

What is needed first and foremost for this transition is green hydrogen that comes from renewable energy sources and therefore is produced in a climate-neutral way. Also needed is the establishment of a robust and efficient supply infrastructure to ensure the widespread implementation and the cost-efficient use of hydrogen technology throughout the entire world.

We support you in this process in a variety of ways, such as with our Green Hydrogen Certification, which provides you with an independent verification of the climate-neutral production, distribution and use of your hydrogen.

Our range of services includes the following:

We actively support energy suppliers, transportation companies, the automotive and commercial vehicle industry, the chemical and steel industry, the manufacturing sector and other companies with the transition to renewable energy sources and with the safe use of this environmentally friendly energy carrier.

  • Type testing/approvals/certifications in the mobility sector
  • Suitability tests and certification of workshops in transportation companies
  • Field tests and type examinations of gas appliances
  • Suitability tests for the hydrogen tolerance of energy facilities and for in-house pipelines at factory sites
  • Usability examinations and leakage tests of gas appliances at the end user’s
  • Training of employees and maintenance providers
  • Development of state-of-the-art safety analyses and of explosion protection documents
  • Support in preparation of safety concepts for operators (risk /fire/ explosion protection concepts )
  • Explosion protection tests and other legal requirements in connection with the development of alternative test concepts
  • Certification of climate-neutral and green hydrogen
  • Hydrogen expertise in our competence center for alternative drive technology


pdf Bringing Clean Hydrogen to Life, Safely – a sustainable pathway for the energy transition 421 KB Download

Our testing portfolio for your hydrogen applications.

Our goal is to support you with comprehensive testing and inspection services on your path to using efficient and cost-effective hydrogen technologies. You will benefit from customized solutions that we tailored to the technical and safety-relevant requirements of hydrogen-generating energies.

Inspection of tank systems and filling stations

Safety in potentially explosive areas

Explosion protection testing and certification

Type testing and expert opinions for alternative powering systems

Business Continuity Management ISO 22301

ISO 14001 Certification

Ask our experts about hydrogen!

Ask our experts about hydrogen!