Hydrogen safety is a concerned for everyone along the chain of hydrogen production, distribution, fueling stations and H2 fueled vehicles. At the 38th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in Switzerland, a research team from Taiwan has won a gold medal for inventing a semiconductor microchip sensor that detects hydrogen leaks.
Scientists at the Department of Electrical Engineering of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan, southern Taiwan has patented a round, portable device that is one centimeter wide and can detect tiny hydrogen leaks as with a concentration as little as 5ppm.
Focus Taiwan says, “According to NCKU, in the future the device may be incorporated into the design of automobile batteries, fuel cells for aircraft and spacecraft, and hydrogen refueling stations.”
It is true that hydrogen is a flammable and combustion gas that must be handled with care such as any other substance used for fuel such as gasoline, biofuels or compressed natural gas. It is also true that the uniformed and the fear mongers continue to equate hydrogen with the Hindenburg disaster. Check out more about the Hindenburg myth.
Nonetheless, since H2 used as fuel is a new experience for average people thinking about alternative cars and fueling pumps, they are naturally worried about what hydrogen safety precautions are being taken. The new hydrogen microchip sensor will help alleviate some of these concerns by detecting tiny leaks so they can be dealt with right from the beginning.
The safer that commercialized hydrogen for cars can be made the quicker the pubic will accept its widespread use as a transportation fuel of the near future.