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Hydrogen Timeline

For over twenty years, HSE has been carrying out world-leading, cutting-edge research looking into the practicality, risk and safety issues associated with utilising hydrogen as a source of low-carbon energy.

However HSE first started working with hydrogen many years before this, developing safe work equipment for explosive atmospheres.

It was our understanding of hydrogen's behaviour and our ability to handle it safely that led us to be invited to participate in The EC Network of Excellence for Hydrogen Safety "HySafe", a key project to explore the safety of hydrogen as a potential, low carbon energy vector.

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Explore our timeline to find out more:

  1. 2000s

  2. 2004

    HSE joins Hysafe


    HSE joins HySafe, an EC funded Network of Excellence, facilitating the safe introduction of hydrogen technologies and applications.

    HySafe - Safety of Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier

  3. 2005

    1st International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    HSE sits on the organising committee for ICHS. Inaugral conference took place in Pisa 2005.

  4. 2005

    HSE publishes first hydrogen research paper 'Spontaneous Ignition of Hydrogen Leaks: A review of postulated mechanisms'

  5. 2006

    HSE publishes 'The Hydrogen Economy - Evaluation of the Materials Science and Engineering Issues'

  6. 2006

    HSE contributes to HYPER project


    HSE begins work on the HYPER project, a specific targeted research project (STREP) funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework Programme, developed an Installation Permitting Guide (IPG) for hydrogen and fuel cell stationary applications. The IPG was developed in response to the growing need for guidance to foster the use and facilitate installation of these systems in Europe.

  7. 2007

    HSE co-organises the 2nd International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    IA HySafe host their second international conference in San Sebastien, Spain.

  8. 2008

    HSE publishes ‘Spontaneous Ignition of Hydrogen – Literature Review’

  9. 2008

    HSE conducts early-stage research into the safety of liquid hydrogen


    Early phase of HSE research into safety of liquid H2.

  10. 2008

    HSE partners in HyApproval


    HSE is a partner in HyApproval - the aim of the project is to produce a "handbook for approval of hydrogen refuelling stations" which will be used to certify public hydrogen filling stations in Europe. (under European Commission FP6 contract N° 019813).

  11. 2009

    HySafe becomes the International Association for Hydrogen Safety


    HSE is a founding member of the International Assosciation for Hydrogen Safety. The association facilitates the networking for the further development and dissemination of knowledge and for the coordination of research activities in the field of hydrogen safety.

  12. 2009

    HSE publishes ‘Installation Permitting Guidance for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Stationary Applications: UK version’


    HSE publishes Research Report 715: Installation permitting guidance for hydrogen and fuel cell stationary applications: UK version.

    Link to report

  13. 2009

    HSE co-organises the 3rd International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    IA HySafe host their third international conference in Ajaccio, France.

  14. 2010s

  15. 2010

    HSE publishes ‘Hazards of Liquid Hydrogen’


    HSE publishes Research Report 769: Hazards of liquid hydrogen.

    Link to report

  16. 2011

    HSE helps the ETI to understand the safe use of hydrogen


    HSE lead a £2 million project to advance the safe design and operation of gas turbines, reciprocating engines and combined heat & power systems using hydrogen based fuels.

  17. 2011

    HSE co-organises the 4th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    IA HySafe host their fourth international conference in San Francisco, USA.

  18. 2012

    HSE joins advisory board of H2FC Supergen


    The hydrogen and fuel cells SUPERGEN is funded by the Research Councils UK Energy Programme, as part of the government's  Sustainable Power Generation and Supply initiative. It was set up in 2012 to address the key challenges facing the hydrogen and fuel cell sector as it strives to provide cost competitive, low carbon technologies in a more secure UK energy landscape.

  19. 2012

    HSE partners in HyIndoor


    HSE is one of several organisations working together to produce pre-normative research into the safe indoor use of fuel cells and hydrogen systems.

  20. 2013

    HSE partners in FireCOMP


    The 3-year European FireComp project was initiated in 2013 to explore the thermo-mechanical behaviour of high pressure vessels in composite materials when exposed to fire conditions.

  21. 2013

    HSE partners in project SUSANA


    SUSANA, SUpport to SAfety ANalysis of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies,  aims to critically review the state-of-the-art in physical and mathematical modelling of phenomena and scenarios relevant to hydrogen safety, compile a guide to best practices in use of CFD for safety analysis of FCH systems and infrastructure; update verification and validation procedures; generate database of verification problems; develop model validation database; perform benchmarking; and finally create the CFD model Evaluation Protocol built on these documents and project activities.

  22. 2013

    HSE co-organises the 5th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    IA HySafe host their fifth international conference in Brussels, Belgium.

  23. 2014

    HSE publishes ‘Modelling of Liquid Hydrogen Spills’

  24. 2014

    HSE publishes ‘Releases of Unignited Liquid Hydrogen’

  25. 2014

    HSE publishes ‘Ignited Releases of Liquid Hydrogen’

  26. 2015

    HSE publishes ‘Injecting Hydrogen into the Gas Network- a Literature Search’

  27. 2015

    HSE co-organises the 6th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    IA HySafe host their sixth international conference in Yokohama, Japan.

  28. 2016

    HSE partners in HyDeploy


    HyDeploy is a pioneering hydrogen energy project designed to help reduce UK CO2 emissions and reach the Government's net zero target for 2050.

  29. 2017

    HSE partners in H21


    H21 is a suite of gas industry projects designed to support conversion of the UK gas networks to carry 100% hydrogen.

  30. 2017

    HSE partners in PreslHy


    HSE is a key project partner performing pre-normative research into the safe use of liquid hydrogen.

  31. 2017

    HSE co-organises the 7th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    IA HySafe host their seventh international conference in Hamburg, Germany.

    ICHS 2017 - International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (

  32. 2018

    HSE hosts The Future of Gas conference


    HSE organises a new Safety Excellence in Energy conference series bringing together the hydrogen safety community to discuss hydrogen safety, network and share knowledge. The first event, The Future of Gas is held in Leeds, UK.

    Find out more

  33. 2018

    HSE partners in Hy4Heat


    Hy4Heat aims to establish if it is technically possible, safe and convenient to replace natural gas (methane) with hydrogen in residential and commercial buildings and gas appliances.

  34. 2018

    HSE publishes ‘Maintaining the Integrity of Process Plant Susceptible to High Temperature Hydrogen Attack. Part 1: Analysis of nondestructive testing techniques’

  35. 2018

    HSE publishes ‘Maintaining the Integrity of Process Plant Susceptible to High Temperature Hydrogen Attack. Part 2: Factors affecting carbon steels’

  36. 2019

    HSE partners in HyTunnel


    HSE is a key project partner undertaking pre-normative research for safety of hydrogen driven vehicles and transport through tunnels and similar confined spaces.

    Read our case study about this project here.

  37. 2019

    HSE partners in H100


    HSE is a project partner in SGN's H100 project designed to demonstrate the safe, secure and reliable distribution of 100% hydrogen in our gas network.

    Read our case study about the project here.

  38. 2019

    HSE hosts The Future of Gas 2


    HSE hosts The Future of Gas 2 at the IET in London, the second event in the Safety Excellence in Energy series.

    Find out more

  39. 2019

    HSE co-organises the 8th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety


    IA HySafe host their eighth international conference in Adelaide, Australia.

  40. 2020's

  41. 2020

    HSE publishes ‘International Association for Hydrogen Safety ‘Research Priorities Workshop’. September 2018, Buxton, UK’


    HSE publishes Research Report 1159: International Association for Hydrogen Safety 'Research Priorities Workshop'. September 2018, Buxton, UK.

    Link to report

  42. 2021

    HSE partners in HyNTSFutureGrid


    HSE partners in HyNTSFutureGrid, a National Grid project seeking to build a hydrogen test facility to demonstrate the National Transmission System (NTS) can transport hydrogen.

  43. 2021

    HSE partners in MultHyFuel


    HSE partners in MultHyFuel, its goal is to contribute to the effective deployment of hydrogen as an alternative fuel by developing a common strategy for implementing Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRS) in multi-fuel contexts, contributing to the harmonization of existing laws and standards based on practical, theoretical and experimental data as well as on the active and continuous engagement of key stakeholders.

  44. 2021

    HSE hosts its ‘Safe Net Zero 2021 – Hydrogen’ 3-day conference


    HSE hosts Safe Net Zero 2021 - Hydrogen online, the third hydrogen event in the Safety Excellence in Energy series. Previously known as the Future of Gas, the event was renamed to reflect the fact that the decarbonisation of energy is no longer a thing of the future.

    Watch on-demand

  45. 2021

    HSE hosts 'Hydrogen Safety - Achieving Safe Net Zero' webinar


    In the lead up to COP26 and the International Conference on Hydrogen Safety, HSE hosts a webinar to talk about the research and consultancy it is doing to demonstrate hydrogen's potential to safely decarbonise and achieve net zero.

    Watch on-demand

  46. 2021

    HSE hosts the 9th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety in partnership with the Scottish Government


    IA HySafe host their ninth international conference online in partnership with the Scottish Government.

  47. 2021

    HSE helps the Port of London develop a national hydrogen highway network

  48. 2021

    HSE inputs to ATI’s Fly Zero programme


    HSE helps ATI assess the risks and safety implications of using hydrogen as part of its FlyZero programme.

    Find out more:

  49. 2021

    HSE hosts 'Hydrogen: The Role of Engineering Materials in Achieving a Safe Net Zero' webinar


    HSE hosts a webinar to talk about the work HSE scientist have been undertaking to understand the effect of hydrogen on engineering materials.

    Watch on-demand

  50. 2022

    HSE publishes 'Hydrogen in the natural gas distribution network: Preliminary analysis of gas release and dispersion behaviour'

  51. 2022

    HSE helps IGEM develop hydrogen supplement for use with IGEM/SR/25

  52. 2022

    HSE continues to work with key players in the aerospace sector to help them explore the feasibility of hydrogen as a potential energy vector for low carbon aviation

  53. 2022

    HSE launches its hydrogen training course: Fundamentals of Hydrogen


    The course provides foundation knowledge about hydrogen's physical properties and key behaviours.

  54. 2022

    HSE hosts the inaugural meeting of the IEA TCP Task 43 committee at the HSE Science and Research Centre


    Task 43 aims to resolve safety and regulatory issues pertaining to the deployment of large scale hydrogen energy applications.

  55. 2023

    HSE partners in ELVHYS


    The project aims to increase the safety of cryogenic hydrogen transfer technologies for mobile applications.

  56. TODAY


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