Hydrogen pressure attack on steels for gas storage

Bernd Loder

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The possibility of hydrogen storage in various types of caverns and depleted reservoirs is currently under investigation in whole Europe. One of the projects dealing with this topic is HyStories. The investigation of the applicability of various pipe materials with regard to hydrogen embrittlement was one of the tasks of this project and is the focus of this work. For this purpose, various carbon steels, including welded steel grades, as well as corrosion-resistant materials were investigated with high-pressure high-temperature autoclave tests, permeation tests and analyses of the absorbed hydrogen. The autoclave tests included tensile specimens loaded with a spring at 90% of yield strength and a unloaded sample was examined to determine hydrogen absorption. After successful conduction of the tests, hydrogen uptake was analyzed by thermal desorption spectroscopy. Four main gas compositions were investigated in the autoclave tests: 120 bar H2, 120 bar H2 + 15 bar CO2, 120 bar H2 + 1 bar H2S and 120 bar H2 + 15 bar CO2 + 1 bar H2S. Test were done in dry conditions as well as with the addition of electrolytes with varying salinity. In addition, the tests were carried out at room temperature and 120 ° C. The duration of the experiments was 720 hours. Before the autoclave test, the effective diffusion coefficient was determined to characterize the diffusion behavior of hydrogen by selected steel grades. The results of the autoclave tests show that hydrogen absorption is relatively high even under severe conditions. Nevertheless, constant loading of the samples led to material failure only in the case of the quenched material and Duplex 2205. None of the other materials showed cracks or other forms of mechanical damage, except for the high-strength carbon steels, some localized corrosion attack occurred under sharp conditions. For this reason, application limits were defined for all tested materials for use in underground hydrogen storage.
Translated title of the contributionDruckwasserstoffangriff auf Stähle für die Gasspeicherung
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Linhardt, Paul, Assessor A (external)
  • Sommitsch, Christof, Assessor B (external)
  • Schnitzer, Ronald, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Mori, Gregor Karl, Supervisor (internal)
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

no embargo


  • Hydrogen embrittlement
  • compressed hydrogen attack
  • gas storage
  • underground hydrogen storage

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