Hydrogen Creates Unique Challenges for Fire Protection

All Things Hydrogen, a recent article published by the NFPA, author Nick Barilo described the growth of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source and the challenges it poses for the fire protection industry.

As the world seeks to find alternative sources of energy, those in the fire protection and life safety industries must be constantly vigilant in providing our customers with the information they need to protect their employees and assets from the fires associated with these newly identified sources. Hydrogen is a flammable gas at atmospheric conditions and diffuses rapidly in air and through materials not normally considered porous. Early market applications for this rapidly growing alternative energy source include vehicle fueling, material handling equipment, backup power for warehouses and telecommunication sites, and portable power devices.  As this technology continues to gain acceptance, additional applications are also developing.

While the concept of using hydrogen in a variety of industrial processes is not new, using it as a fuel source creates unique challenges.  The proper handling of the gas is critical and any emergency situation requires proper fire protection equipment.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a code to address the unique nature of hydrogen-related fire protection.  NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies Code was released in 2011.

For more information on hydrogen related fire protection, see this latest article from the NFPA.  Click here.