Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials has announced the publication of a ‘Research Report of Material Compatibility for Liquid Hydrogen Storage on Marine Application’, in collaboration with the Korean Register. This report provides detailed technical information on materials suitable for on-board liquid hydrogen systems.  Following the recent resolutions at the IMO’s MEPC 80 meeting, where it was agreed upon to steer the shipping industry towards a net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal, countries are developing zero-carbon fuels and technologies for on-board use to meet their decarbonization targets.

 Hydrogen stands out as one of the most promising alternative fuels. It is a carbon-free option that can also serve as a feedstock to produce alternative fuels, such as methanol. As international hydrogen transport and trade are becoming increasingly active, the demand for hydrogen carriers and hydrogen-fueled ships is expected to rise.

 For safe and efficient storage and transport of hydrogen, it must be handled in its liquid state. This necessitates a cryogenic environment. However, until now, there has been a notable lack of research infrastructure and industry understanding of the materials used in marine liquid hydrogen storage systems.

 KIMM senior researcher Kim Yongjin’s team has jointly established a ‘Cryogenic Evaluation Infrastructure’ with KR, who has been conducting the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries’ Hydrogen Ship Safety Standard Development Project since 2020 and professor Kim Jeong-Hyeon’s team at Pusan National University.

 The Cryogenic Evaluation Infrastructure is the only facility of its kind available in Korea. It is designed to test and analyze materials for alternative fuels that require cryogenic facilities, such as hydrogen. In this study, it was used to simulate the hydrogen environment by conducting mechanical evaluation test at -253℃, the storage temperature of liquid hydrogen.

 This research report reflects the results of these tests and establishes evaluation methods for applied materials such as hydrogen pipes and tanks, as well as standards for applied materials.

 Senior researcher Kim Yongjin of KIMM department of reliability assessment said “We believe that the results of this study will provide valuable guidance to industry, academia and research institutes researching and developing green ships and alternative fuels. KIMM will continue to support our customers and the maritime industry in various ways by developing new technologies and sharing the latest technical information to respond to environmental regulations with KR”.