Explaining the colours of high pressure hydrogen, and how this can help net zero targets.

As discussions surrounding high pressure hydrogen power circulate as a potential solution to help the UK achieve its Net Zero decarbonisation commitments, key questions about the source of any hydrogen used have been raised. The colours of the hydrogen spectrum, including pink, yellow, black, and turquoise, refer to the method of how hydrogen itself is sourced. The colours most commonly referred to are blue, grey, and green hydrogen.

Green Hydrogen, simply put, is hydrogen which has been formed by removing oxygen from water. The term ‘Green Hydrogen’ comes from the process of electrolysis; removing hydrogen from water and releasing oxygen, which when powered by renewable energy sources, is deemed environmentally friendly. This method of forming and storing high pressure hydrogen is regarded as the most environmentally friendly, because it does not produce carbon dioxide as a by-product, meaning no greenhouse gasses are emitted.

On the other hand, Blue Hydrogen is created through reforming natural gases such as methane. This type of hydrogen production is less environmentally friendly, as it generates carbon dioxide as a by-product. This carbon dioxide needs to be captured, instead of being released into the atmosphere to help with the decarbonisation of the grids, as this process does not fully remove the production of greenhouse gas. This method of high pressure hydrogen production is more expensive than other forms, as it requires capture and storage of hydrogen.

Grey Hydrogen is currently the most prevalent form of hydrogen production. This type of hydrogen is similar to Blue Hydrogen, because it is formed through the reformation of gasses such as methane. Grey Hydrogen differs from Blue Hydrogen because during its creation, the carbon dioxide by-product is not captured and stored.


The Orbital Fabrications High Pressure Hydrogen Solution

Our expert team at Orbital Fabrications have extensive experience in manufacturing gas handling systems, ideally suited for high pressure hydrogen applications. We are equipped to address the technical demands of managing high pressure hydrogen, safely and securely, to be used as a fuel source. When working with high pressure hydrogen at pressures of 700 bar and above, it is vital that your handling solution is manufactured, tested, and fully certified to ensure safe, efficient and trouble-free deployment in the field.

Once your system is manufactured, the Orbital Fabrications’ validation process includes a full system leak test utilising helium mass spectrometers that provide extremely sensitive leak detection rates, down to ppm levels. We can also validate your system in excess of the normal operating pressure; with the capability to conduct pressure tests at over 1000 bar , if the application requires.


About Orbital Fabrications

Orbital is an industry specialist in the field of providing high purity stainless steel process pipework services, manifolds, and control systems for high pressure gas management; thus Orbital is well equipped to handle the increased global demand for alternative energy, specifically hydrogen. Our experience in designing, manufacturing, and installing bespoke hydrogen systems is perfectly suited to address the technical demands of managing high pressure hydrogen, safely and securely. High pressure testing in excess of 1000 bar is also available, along with full 3.1 material certification. For high purity applications, all fabrication, assembly, and testing is conducted within our class 5 and class 6 cleanroom facilities. Additionally, Orbital Fabrications’ autogenous TIG welding process fully penetrates the thick-walled tubing necessary for carrying high pressure hydrogen, providing a clean, secure joint that’s immune to vibration and ambient thermal changes. Our support services include comprehensive in-house design, through to test and validation, including in-house helium mass spectrometry for leak detection. Orbital’s experience within the nuclear, oil and gas, and hydrogen industries ensures that we understand the importance of project specific documentation requirements to support and validate your high-pressure hydrogen handling systems.


Contact Orbital Fabrications today to discuss your process piping systems, and how our high purity welding capabilities can benefit your business.