The DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program's safety activities, led by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, focus on system safety in DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) activities and in the marketplace. DOE's safety R&D activities are focused on developing hydrogen sensors for detecting hydrogen leaks. In addition, all DOE-funded hydrogen projects are required to follow DOE's Safety Guidelines and undergo review by DOE's Hydrogen Safety Review Panel to ensure safety in the operation, handling, and use of hydrogen systems.
Safe practices in the production, storage, distribution, and use of hydrogen are an integral part of future plans. Like most fuels, hydrogen can be handled and used safely with appropriate sensing, handling, and engineering measures. The aim of this program activity is to verify the physical and chemical properties of hydrogen, outline the factors that must be considered to minimize the safety hazards related to the use of hydrogen as a fuel, and provide a comprehensive database on hydrogen and hydrogen safety.
H2Tools is a best practices resource and free, online national hydrogen safety training resource for emergency responders.
Hydrogen Safety for First Responders
DOE's Introduction to Hydrogen Safety for First Responders is a web-based course that provides an "awareness level" overview of hydrogen for fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel. This multimedia tutorial acquaints first responders with hydrogen, its basic properties, and how it compares to other familiar fuels; hydrogen use in fuel cells for transportation and stationary power; potential hazards; initial protective actions should a responder witness an incident; and supplemental resources including videos, supporting documents, and links relevant to hydrogen safety.
Hydrogen Safety Bibliographic Database
The Hydrogen Safety Bibliographic Database provides references to reports, articles, books, and other resources for information on hydrogen safety as it relates to production, storage, distribution, and use. The database includes references related to the following topics:
- Hydrogen properties and behavior
- Safe operating and handling procedures
- Leaks, dispersion, and flammable vapor cloud formation
- Embrittlement and other effects on material properties
- Fuel cells and other energy conversion technologies
- Sensors, tracers, and leak detection technologies
- Accidents and incidents involving hydrogen.