A new ISO technical report on the hazards associated with the use of hydrogen has a huge potential to improve safety measures and contribute to its successful use in energy applications for home and office heating, generation of electricity and transportation.

Up until now, hydrogen has been used extensively in petrochemical and chemical industries and in smaller quantities in the electronics and glass making industries. Given the promise that hydrogen brings as an efficient energy carrier and an energetic fuel with minimal environmental impact, systems are being developed that produce hydrogen from primary energy sources such as sunlight, wind power, biomass, hydro and fossil fuels.

"The safe use of hydrogen as a fuel is a primary goal of our technical committee as it seeks to facilitate the rapid emergence of hydrogen technologies in the new energy applications," said Randy Dey, Chair of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 197, Hydrogen technologies. "A key element in the safe use of hydrogen is understanding its unique safety related properties, which the new technical report provides."

"This technical report provides an informative reference for those separate standards as a common, consistent source of safety-related hydrogen information," further notes Mr. Dey. "This should avoid duplication and possible inconsistencies in these separate standards and, through national adoption, simplify the regulatory process."

The technical report will be used by industrialists, manufacturers of hydrogen appliances and regulators.

ISO/TR 15916:2004 costs 158 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat. The new standard is the work of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 197, Hydrogen technologies.