First Hydrogen Quality Testing Centre In Canada Is Now Open

The new Hydrogen Quality Centre from InnoTech in Alberta, based at Edmonton Research Park, can go on to test the impurities much better than any other lab across Canada, which means that the industry can now go ahead and validate its hydrogen in terms of fuel cells very close to home.

As per the hydrogen lead at InnoTech, Martin Huard, they can go on to measure and detect numerous kinds of impurities that happen to be specified under global specifications when it comes to fuel cell grade hydrogen. The fact is that this happens to be the toughest standard to test since the impurity levels in hydrogen for that specific application happen to be way low.

He added that the region has gone on to produce hydrogen at a phenomenal scale for decades for uses across petrochemical refining as well as fertilizer production. However, now, coming up with fuel-cell grade hydrogen happens to be promising for the economy of the region due to its commercial applications when it comes to vehicles.

As per Huard, what one happens to be witnessing in recent years is that numerous companies throughout the Edmonton region have begun to manufacture, supply, and use hydrogen, especially in terms of fuel cells within vehicles, generators, locomotives, and other applications. The most tricky part is that when hydrogen gets used in fuel cell devices, it has to stick to very strict international quality benchmarks with extremely low level in terms of impurities in order to prevent fuel cells from getting damaged.

He also opined that this happens to be useful for the local sector, as it previously had to ship hydrogen to California or even New Jersey to conduct tests at this level. Having a local choice should make the testing part much cheaper and faster. According to Huard, it should help safeguard hydrogen from getting more expensive.

It is well to be noted that InnoTech went ahead and received $600,000 by way of its parent company, Alberta Innovates’s Hydrogen Centre of Excellence arm, in order to come up with the center. The decision happened to be made in April 2022, and apparently, the funding happened in summer 2023.

Interestingly, Innotech also went on to receive in-kind equipment contributions coming from PerkinElmer. The center makes use of advanced, custom-altered scientific equipment for the chemical processes that happen to identify impurities. In order to get technical, that goes on to have in it gas chromatographs as well as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy so as to find halogens that go ahead and dilute the purity of hydrogen. Huard adds that they anticipate that in the coming years, private commercial labs will most likely start offering this kind of service too.

The fact is that they are here to transfer the knowledge to them as they get to have the experience by way of running the test methods which are in sync with the equipment.

Although Huard’s team happens to be operating at the highest testing level across the country, he has already gone on to identify the gaps and deficiencies where center employees will work so as to improve.

Huard remarks that their intent has always been to innovate consistently, recommend alterations in terms of testing methods, potentially create some new test methods, and, at the end, try to make hydrogen quality testing much more precise, cheap, and also widely available.

Hydrogen, which happens to be a tiny molecule of low density, can go on to ignite very easily and happens to have a high flammability range across the air. The safety standards of the center mean that it can handle those undesirable events, which can also take place during tests.

Huard indicates that the center opened on April 25, 2024, in the midst of the Canadian Hydrogen Convention, when 50 delegates toured across the facility, and they were indeed very impressed because of the state as well as the conditions of the labs.