Energy and global environmental issues are chaotic by economic and social conditions, but the direction humanity should go is decarbonization and the introduction of renewable energy, and hydrogen can play a huge role.
Following the country's fourth energy basic plan, "strengthening efforts to realize a hydrogen society" is one of Japan's key policies for 2030 in the fifth energy basic plan. In order to promote hydrogen, it is necessary not only to develop fuel cell technology, which can be called the core of energy conversion, but also to establish technologies for safely storing, transporting and supplying hydrogen used in fuel cells to improve its economy. In addition, it is essential to strengthen the international competitiveness of hydrogen-related technologies in the field of next-generation vehicles and energy.
The key to using hydrogen is to ensure the safety of combustible gases, but equally important is the effect of hydrogen on the properties of the material. Hydrogen is the smallest element in the world, it invades all matter, and in some cases, it changes the properties of matter. Due to the so-called hydrogen embrittlement phenomenon, the strength of many steel materials is reduced. In addition, rubber and polymeric materials such as fillers absorb large amounts of hydrogen under high pressure hydrogen, which can lead to various damages. In addition, in parts with surface and surface friction, friction and wear are affected by hydrogen. Since many metallic, rubber, and polymeric materials, as well as various friction materials, are used in equipment to store and transport hydrogen, the effects of said hydrogen must be correctly understood and applied in order to properly design the equipment. In addition, it is necessary to understand the nature of hydrogen pressure and temperature changes.
Being able to make good use of hydrogen could save humanity and the global environment. On the other hand, in order to promote the spread of hydrogen, it is necessary to ensure the viability of hydrogen in future economic activities. In other words, hydrogen must be made cheaper and have less impact on the global environment.
The Center for Advanced Scientific Research of Hydrogen Materials (HYDROGENIUS) at Kyushu University is researching materials and hydrogen, a technical field necessary for the safe and efficient use of hydrogen to meet the needs of these societies. These studies require experimental techniques for high-pressure gases, material evaluation techniques, advanced analytical techniques, etc., and careful testing of each material. Technology wasn't built in a day. Under a long-term research policy, researchers persistently address every problem.