“Hydrogen and oxygen both have distinct hazards. Those hazards can be amplified if a fault enables them to mix within an electrolysis system,” explains Danielle ‘Dani’ Murphy, Ph.D. She is one of the resident hydrogen safety specialists at WHA, which is based in Las Cruces, New Mexico in the US.
A tragic example of these increased hazards occurred at a research facility in Korea, where an alkaline water electrolyser was set up to generate hydrogen. On May 23, 2019, oxygen permeated the hydrogen storage tank, creating a high-pressure combustible mixture. The tank exploded with the power of 50kg of TNT. It caused two fatalities, six injuries, and over $30m in damage.
Combined risks of hydrogen and oxygen
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