ABS joins EU-funded liquid hydrogen containment system project

Classification society ABS has come on board the LH2CRAFT project, a research initiative funded by the European Union (EU) seeking to revolutionize liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage on a massive scale.

Courtesy of ABS

The LH2CRAFT project is a joint effort of the research consortium comprising 14 members from nine different countries, administered by Greece-based Hydrus Engineering S.A. and Germany’s Technische Universitat Dresden.

The main goal is to develop a next-generation sustainable, commercially attractive, and safe containment technology for long-term storage and transportation of LH2 on ships.

As explained, this EU-funded project aims to develop an innovative containment system of membrane-type that will be available for all commercial vessels carrying hydrogen as cargo (or even as fuel in certain applications) over longer distances and in large volumes (in liquid form).

The consortium is working to design a membrane-type containment system, leveraging the latest technology, capable of storing LH2 at frigid temperatures of -253 °C on a massive scale, reaching up to 200,000 m3. The project scope also includes the creation of a 10-tonne (180 m3) prototype to validate the new design.

For this project, ABS will review the LH2 containment, handling, and distribution systems as part of the process which works toward approval in principle (AiP).

“Adopting hydrogen as cargo must overcome several technical challenges in addition to the traditional challenges of infrastructure development, regulatory frameworks, safety protocols and economic viability. However, these obstacles are balanced by substantial opportunities. In addition to contributing to global efforts to combat climate change, developing a hydrogen value chain can spur technical innovation, create employment opportunities and establish new markets,” said Panos Koutsourakis, ABS Vice President, Global Sustainability.

In 2023, ABS published the ABS Requirements for Liquefied Hydrogen Carriers, addressing safety and technical standards for vessels carrying liquefied hydrogen, including criteria such as such as risk assessment, novel concepts, new technology qualification, cargo containment, pressure piping systems, ventilation, and fire protection, among others.

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