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Solutions for Hydrogen Vehicles

Partnering on the hydrogen infrastructure build

Vallourec’s technology for high-pressure hydrogen forms part of the drive toward mass commercialization of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) through the development of an increasingly robust refueling station infrastructure.

  • Solutions for high-pressure components in hydrogen refueling stations. 
  • Pipes intended for high-pressure storage in pressure vessels or piston accumulators.
  • A unique manufacturing range which allows for the largest dimensions: up to 660mm outside diameters, wall thicknesses up to 65mm, and inner volumes up to 3,000 liters (fit for pressure up to 1,000 bar) are feasible.
  • Customer support to optimize their designs to adjust to the needs of their projects and to innovate together for safe and efficient refueling stations.
What Is Hydrogen?

Hydrogen’s physical properties make the development of robust infrastructure complex. Vallourec’s materials expertise is proving invaluable in developing the necessary solutions.

Important physical properties of hydrogen

High energy
Hydrogen offers 3x the energy of gasoline per unit of mass, making it an attractive fuel source.
Low density
Hydrogen is the lightest element (1/10 of natural gas), so larger volumes must be moved to meet identical energy demand. Gaseous hydrogen needs to be stored and transported at high pressures, up to 1,000 bar; Vallourec has a strong track record with such high pressures.
Higher velocity for pipeline transportation
Hydrogen is flowing about 3 times faster than natural gas when transported in pipelines; when combined with lower density, this means that the energy flow in a pipeline is about 80% compared to a natural gas pipeline in similar conditions.
Highly flammable
Hydrogen has high flame velocity (8x methane) and ignition range (6x wider than methane). Gas tightness and reliability of solutions, a key expertise and commitment of Vallourec, will be essential.

All these technical challenges will certainly find appropriate responses. Vallourec will contribute to these, so that the required infrastructure can be safely developed. In this way, the full potential of hydrogen as a low-carbon technology can be unleashed.

Documents & Resources

News – Large-scale hydrogen for a cleaner tomorrow

Dec. 2020 | by Vincent Designolle
From solar and wind to biomass, the number of cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels has exploded in recent years. But one clearly stands out from the pack: hydrogen. Already well established in industrial uses, hydrogen is now angling to conquer hard-to-decarbonize sectors like heavy transport and energy-intensive industries. To ensure success, infrastructure at a large scale will be needed to support hydrogen’s growth—a gargantuan undertaking that Vallourec is well placed to support.

Our Role in Hydrogen
Customer Story
Hydrogen is set to play a key role in the energy transition acting as a low-emission energy carrier for various applications. However, hydrogen is known to affect mechanical properties of some materials, a phenomenon named hydrogen embrittlement. To ensure safe transport and storage of compressed gaseous hydrogen, steels must be proven resistant to such environments.
Vallourec has successfully qualified the fracture toughness resistance of a selection of steel grades for OCTG pipes, line pipes and pressure vessels in the presence of pure H2 gas. Thanks to its material expertise, Vallourec succeeded in testing higher strength steels that, for certain applications, enable thinner walls, lighter solutions, and reduced resource consumption to its customers.