Hydrogen Storage and Transportation

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Hydrogen storage and transportation involve technologies and infrastructure for safely and efficiently storing and transporting hydrogen from production sites to end users. This is a critical aspect of developing a hydrogen economy, as hydrogen’s low density and flammability pose challenges for storage and transportation.

Impact on climate action

Hydrogen Storage and Transportation within Green Hydrogen accelerates climate action by enabling the widespread adoption of renewable hydrogen as a clean energy carrier. By facilitating efficient storage and transport, this innovation supports decarbonization efforts across industries, reduces reliance on fossil fuels, and advances the transition to a sustainable energy future.


  • Hydrogen Storage Methods: Various methods exist for storing hydrogen, including:
    • Compressed Gas Storage: Hydrogen is compressed to high pressures (up to 700 bar) and stored in high-pressure tanks. This is the most common method for storing hydrogen in vehicles and for smaller-scale applications.
    • Liquid Hydrogen Storage: Hydrogen is cooled to cryogenic temperatures (-253°C) and stored as a liquid. This method offers higher energy density than compressed gas storage but requires specialized equipment and insulation.
    • Material-Based Storage: Hydrogen can be stored in solid materials, such as metal hydrides or carbon-based materials, through chemical or physical adsorption. This method offers potential advantages in terms of safety and energy density.
  • Hydrogen Transportation: Hydrogen can be transported using various methods, including:
    • Pipelines: Pipelines are the most efficient way to transport large quantities of hydrogen over long distances.
    • Trucks and Trailers: Compressed hydrogen or liquid hydrogen can be transported by trucks and trailers for shorter distances.
    • Ships: Liquid hydrogen can be transported by ships for international trade.

TRL : 6-8 (depending on the specific technology and application)

Prominent Innovation themes

  • High-Pressure Hydrogen Tanks: Innovations in materials and manufacturing processes are leading to the development of lighter and stronger high-pressure hydrogen tanks, improving the range and payload capacity of hydrogen vehicles.
  • Liquid Hydrogen Infrastructure: Advancements in cryogenic technologies and insulation materials are making liquid hydrogen storage and transportation more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Material-Based Storage Materials: Researchers are developing new materials with higher hydrogen storage capacities and improved kinetics, making material-based storage a more viable option.
  • Hydrogen Carriers: Hydrogen carriers, such as ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs), offer alternative ways to store and transport hydrogen in a more stable and energy-dense form.
  • Hydrogen Pipeline Infrastructure: Investments are being made in expanding hydrogen pipeline infrastructure to facilitate the transportation of large quantities of hydrogen over long distances.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Advanced Composite Materials for High-Pressure Hydrogen Tanks
  • Cryogenic Insulation Technologies for Liquid Hydrogen Storage
  • Nanomaterials for Enhanced Material-Based Hydrogen Storage
  • Next-Generation Hydrogen Compression Techniques
  • Smart Hydrogen Pipeline Monitoring and Control Systems
  • Hydrogen Tank Safety Innovations
  • Modular Hydrogen Transportation Solutions
  • Hydrogen Carrier Optimization for Efficiency and Stability
  • Renewable Energy-Powered Hydrogen Production and Transportation
  • Advanced Hydrogen Storage Systems for Aviation
  • Hydrogen Storage and Transportation Infrastructure Planning
  • Hydrogen Infrastructure Integration with Existing Energy Systems
  • Autonomous Hydrogen Transport Vehicles
  • Hydrogen Transportation Efficiency Modeling and Optimization
  • Hydrogen Storage and Transportation Regulations and Standards
  • Hydrogen Storage and Transportation in Urban Environments
  • Hydrogen Storage and Transportation for Remote Areas
  • Hydrogen Supply Chain Optimization Strategies
  • Hydrogen Logistics and Distribution Networks
  • Hydrogen Safety Training and Emergency Response Solutions

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. H2GO Power:
    • Technology Enhancement: H2GO Power focuses on hydrogen storage solutions utilizing liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs). Their technology enables the safe and efficient storage of hydrogen by chemically bonding it with a liquid carrier. This approach allows for higher energy density and safer handling compared to traditional compressed or liquefied hydrogen storage methods.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: H2GO Power stands out for its innovative approach to hydrogen storage using LOHCs. Their technology addresses key challenges associated with hydrogen transportation and storage, including safety, energy density, and infrastructure requirements. By offering a practical and scalable solution for hydrogen storage, they contribute to the advancement of hydrogen-based energy systems.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: H2GO Power serves industries and applications requiring hydrogen storage solutions for transportation, energy storage, and industrial processes. Their technology is particularly relevant for sectors such as transportation, where the efficient and safe storage of hydrogen is critical for the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
  2. Universal Hydrogen:
    • Technology Enhancement: Universal Hydrogen is focused on developing hydrogen logistics solutions for aviation. Their approach involves converting regional turboprop aircraft to hydrogen-electric powertrains and establishing a modular hydrogen distribution network. By utilizing lightweight composite storage tanks and existing aviation infrastructure, they aim to enable zero-emission hydrogen flights.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Universal Hydrogen stands out for its specific focus on decarbonizing aviation through hydrogen-powered solutions. Their approach addresses the unique challenges of hydrogen storage and transportation in the aviation sector, including aircraft integration, refueling infrastructure, and regulatory compliance. By providing a comprehensive solution for hydrogen logistics, they accelerate the transition to sustainable aviation.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Universal Hydrogen primarily targets the aviation industry, including regional airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and airports. Their hydrogen storage and transportation solutions cater to the growing demand for sustainable aviation alternatives, offering a viable pathway to decarbonize regional air travel.
  3. HyPoint:
    • Technology Enhancement: HyPoint specializes in hydrogen fuel cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility (UAM) applications. Their technology focuses on high-power-density fuel cells that enable efficient hydrogen storage and utilization in electric aircraft. By integrating lightweight and high-performance fuel cell stacks, they offer a practical solution for zero-emission air transportation.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: HyPoint stands out for its emphasis on high-power-density fuel cell technology tailored for aviation and UAM markets. Their approach addresses the specific requirements of aerial transportation, including power-to-weight ratio, endurance, and reliability. By providing a hydrogen-based power solution, they support the development of sustainable air mobility solutions.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: HyPoint targets the aerospace and UAM industries, including aircraft manufacturers, air taxi operators, and urban transportation companies. Their hydrogen fuel cell systems offer a clean and efficient power source for electric aircraft, enabling zero-emission air travel and urban mobility solutions.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL):
    • Research Focus: NREL is a leading institution in research on Hydrogen Storage and Transportation, focusing on developing advanced storage materials, systems, and transportation technologies to enable the widespread adoption of green hydrogen as a clean and versatile energy carrier.
    • Uniqueness: Their research encompasses the development of novel hydrogen storage materials, including metal hydrides, chemical hydrides, and porous materials, with high gravimetric and volumetric hydrogen capacities, fast kinetics, and reversible hydrogen sorption properties. They also investigate innovative storage tank designs, compression methods, and safety protocols to optimize storage efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance system reliability.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in hydrogen refueling stations, industrial hydrogen supply chains, and fuel cell-powered vehicles. By advancing hydrogen storage and transportation technologies, NREL’s research supports the decarbonization of transportation, industry, and power generation sectors, enabling the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon energy future.
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Research Focus: MIT conducts cutting-edge research on Hydrogen Storage and Transportation, leveraging its expertise in materials science, chemical engineering, and energy systems to develop innovative approaches for storing, transporting, and distributing green hydrogen efficiently and safely.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the design and synthesis of advanced materials, such as nanoporous carbon, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), and composite materials, for high-capacity hydrogen adsorption, desorption, and release under ambient conditions. They also explore novel hydrogen carrier molecules, such as ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs), for long-distance transportation and storage without the need for high-pressure or cryogenic conditions.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in hydrogen pipelines, underground caverns, and onboard storage tanks for fuel cell vehicles and aircraft. By developing scalable and cost-effective hydrogen storage and transportation solutions, MIT’s research contributes to the commercialization of hydrogen fuel technologies and the transition to a sustainable energy economy.
  3. Stanford University:
    • Research Focus: Stanford University is engaged in innovative research on Hydrogen Storage and Transportation, leveraging its expertise in materials characterization, computational modeling, and system integration to address key challenges and opportunities in the hydrogen value chain.
    • Uniqueness: Their research encompasses the development of advanced hydrogen storage materials with tailored pore structures, surface chemistries, and thermal stabilities for high-capacity and reversible hydrogen storage at moderate pressures and temperatures. They also investigate hydrogen purification techniques, membrane technologies, and liquefaction processes to enhance hydrogen purity, transportability, and energy density.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in hydrogen fueling stations, grid-scale energy storage, and hydrogen-powered heavy-duty vehicles. By advancing hydrogen storage and transportation technologies, Stanford’s research supports the integration of renewable energy sources, grid balancing, and decarbonization efforts across multiple sectors, including transportation, industry, and power generation.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Hydrogen storage and transportation technologies are being implemented in various applications, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, industrial hydrogen production and distribution, and pilot projects for hydrogen-based energy storage.