Safety and perception: Enhancing electrolysis system safety for long-term success


WHA International, Inc. has worked closely with hydrogen and oxygen for decades, but recently, industry has shown increased interest in a unique intersection between the two gases: electrolysis systems.

In response, the team at WHA has begun offering specialised hazard analysis services and developed a new electrolysis system safety training course.

“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 23rd May 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.

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