Nine European partners, including associations, leading companies, universities, technological and research centres have launched H2TRUST.

The consortium has been formed to foster a smooth and well managed transition to the full scale commercialisation of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) applications in Europe.

In addition, the consortium will stress the importance of safety among all stakeholders. The project will be led by MATGAS, a joint venture between Air Products, the National Research Council of Spain and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, located in Barcelona.

One of the consortium’s main goals is to assess industry efforts to ensure FCH technology remains safe and that there is adequate regulation, hazard awareness, incident readiness and ability to respond to any public concerns. To ensure its goals are met, the consortium will meet regularly. Risk assessments will focus on each of the main application areas (hydrogen production, storage and distribution, mobility and vehicles, non-vehicles and residential power generation).

The consortium expects that the results will help to create a long lasting culture of preventative safety in the industry, as well as a legacy of tools and knowledge that will reinforce best practice and public confidence.

“We hope that H2TRUST will help to accelerate the full scale commercialisation of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen applications in Europe, by providing accurate information to the public about the benefits of these technologies for a sustainable future,” said Dr. Lourdes Vega, Director of Spanish R+D Centre, MATGAS.

Hydrogen has several properties and, although it is most-recognised for its use in the aeronautics and space sectors, it is widely used in a variety of manufacturing processes. Hydrogen is used in refineries to convert heavy crude oils into cleaner-burning gasoline; in metal processors to reduce metal oxides and to prevent oxidation; in the chemical industry to synthesize compounds such as ammonia, and most recently in fuel cells powering ultra low emission cars, buses, locomotives, planes and even submarines.