Hydrogen is becoming an increasingly appealing clean energy carrier, as the costs of renewable energy generation and water electrolysis continuously decline. With increasing and diversifying usages of hydrogen, the hydrogen industry is going to evolve drastically requiring new technologic developments.
The main technological developments and improvements are related to production, storage and transportation of hydrogen. Long-distance transportation, long-duration off-board storage, on-board storage, as well as sustainability of hydrogen supply networks are critical to consider hydrogen as a long- term energy carrier. The emergence of new developments in the hydrogen supply chain and hydrogen- powered products generates new materials challenges. Fundamental research on potential compatible materials for all modalities of the hydrogen production, storage and delivery is critical at this stage to scale the hydrogen supply chain to increasing demand. In addition, production, storage and delivery capabilities for renewable hydrogen now encompass numerous new variations (cryo-compressed, liquid hydrogen, high pressure, liquefaction). Among these, compressed liquid hydrogen storage and delivery at cryogenic temperatures, for unprecedented storage volume capacity, presents unique material challenges, as it involves repeated thermo-mechanical loading of the hydrogen supply chain parts during hydrogen production, storage, fueling, transportation and consumption. The necessary development of a sustainable hydrogen supply chain requires energy-efficient, high longevity, damage tolerant, repairable, and recyclable metallic materials. Therefore, the approach of a sustainable metallurgy is ideally adapted to the incoming developments in the hydrogen supply chain.
The present proposal aboard an important aspect of sustainable metallurgy, which is longevity, in the context of the liquid hydrogen (cryogenic temperatures) supply chain. Sustainable metallurgy is achieved by the control of the small-scale structure of the materials to achieve sustainability (here, longevity) in the context of a specific application (e.g. repeated use in cryogenic environments).