Risk assessment methodology for onboard hydrogen storage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
134 Downloads (Pure)


A quantitative risk assessment of onboard hydrogen-powered vehicle storage, exposed to a fire, is performed. The risk is defined twofold as a cost of human life per vehicle fire, and annual fatality rate per vehicle. The increase of fire resistance rating of the storage tank is demonstrated to drastically reduce the risk to acceptable level. Hazard distances are calculated by validated engineering tools for blast wave and fireball, which follow catastrophic tank rupture in a fire, act in all directions and have larger hazard distances compared to jet fire. The fatality cash value, probabilities of vehicle fire and failure of thermally activated pressure relief device are taken from published sources. A vulnerability probit function is employed to calculate probability of emergency operations’ failure to control fire and prevent tank rupture. The risk is presented as a function of fire resistance rating of onboard storage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6462-6475
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number12
Early online date2 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Reference text: [1] I. Dincer, “Technical, environmental and exergetic aspects of hydrogen energy systems,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 27, pp. 265-285, 2002.

[2] M. Ricci, G. Newsholme, P. Bellaby and R. Flynn, “Hydrogen: too dangerous to base our future upon?,” in Proceedings of the IChemE Symposium Hazards XIX, Manchester, 2006.

[3] V. Molkov, Fundamentals of hydrogen safety engineering I, Bookboon.com, 2009.

[4] R. Flynn, P. Bellaby and M. Ricci, “The limits of upstream engagement in an emergent technology: lay perceptions of hydrogen energy technologies,” in Renewable energy and the public: from Nimby to participation, London, Eartscan, 2011.

[5] N. C. Weyandt, “Analysis of Induced Catastrophic Failure of a 5000 psig Type IV Hydrogen Cylinder,” Motor Vehicle Fire Research Institute SwRI Report No. 01.06939.01.001, La Canada, California, 2005.

[6] N. C. Weyandt, “Vehicle bonfire to induce catastrophic failure of a 5000-psig hydrogen cylinder installed on a typical SUV.,” Motor Vehicle Fire Research Institute, 2006.

[7] D. Lowell, “Natural Gas Systems: Suggested changes to truck and motorcoach regulations and inspection procedures,” 2013.

[8] S. Ruban, L. Heudier, D. Jamois, C. Proust, L. Butsamante-Valencia, S. Jallais, K. Kremer-Knobloch, C. Maugy and S. Villalonga, “Fire risk on high-pressure full composite cylinders for automotive applications,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 37, pp. 17630-17638, 2012.

[9] R. Zalosh and N. Weyandt, “Hydrogen fuel tank fire exposure burst test,” in SAE Paper Number 2005-01-1886, 2005.

[10] R. Zalosh, “Blast waves and fireballs generated by hydrogen tank rupture during fire exposure,” in Proceedings of the 5th international seminar on fire and explosion hazards, Edinburgh, UK, 23-27 April 2007, 2007.

[11] V. Molkov and S. Kashkarov, “Blast wave from a high-pressure gas tank rupture in a fire: Stand-alone and under-vehicle hydrogen tanks,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, no. 36, p. 12581–12603, 2015.

[12] D. Makarov, Y. Kim, S. Kashkarov and V. Molkov, “Thermal protection and fire resistance of high-pressure hydrogen storage.,” in Eight international seminar on fire and explosion hazards (ISFEH8), Hefei, China, 2016.

[13] Y. Kim, D. Makarov, S. Kashkarov, P. Joseph and V. Molkov, “Modelling heat transfer in an intumescent paint and its effect on fire resistance of on-board hydrogen storage,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, p. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.02.157, 2016.

[14] J. LaChance, W. Houf, B. Middletoon and L. Fluer, “Analyses to support development of risk-informed separation distances for hydrogen codes and standards,” Sandia National Laboratories (2009) SAND2009–0874, unlimited release, March, 2009.

[15] K. Groth and E. Hecht, “HyRAM: A methodology and toolkit for quantitative risk assessment of hydrogen systems,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, pp. 7485-7493, 2017.

[16] NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies Code, National Fire Protection Association, 2015.

[17] NFPA 55, Standard for the storage, use, and handling of compressed gases, and cryogenic fluids in portable and stationary containers, cylinders, and tanks, National Fire Protection Association, 2005.

[18] A. Brown, E. Nunes, C. Teruya, L. Anacleto, J. Fedrigo and M. Antoni, “Quantitaive risk analysis of gasous hydrogen storage unit,” in Proceedings of First International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (ICHS), Pisa, Italy, 2005.

[19] F. Markert, A. Marangon, M. Carcassi and N. Dujim, “Risk and sustainability analysis of complex hydrogen infrastructures,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, pp. 7698-7706, 2017.

[20] F. Markert, V. Krymsky and I. Kozine, “Estimation of uncertainty in risk assessemnt of hydrogen applications,” in 4th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety, San Francisco, CA, 2011.

[21] N. Dujim and F. Markert, “Safet-barrier diagrams as atool for modelling safety of hydrogen applications,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 34, pp. 5862-5868, 2009.

[22] N. Duijm, “SafetyBarrierManager, a software tool to perform risk analysis using ARAMIS's principles,” in 6th International Conference on Risk Analysis and Crisis Response (RACR2017), Ostrava-Prague, 2017.

[23] Y. Khalil, “Risk quantification framework of hydride-based hydrogen storage systems for light-duty vehicles,” Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, vol. 38, pp. 187-198, 2015.

[24] C. San Marchi, E. Hecht, I. Ekoto, K. Groth, C. LaFleur, B. Somerday, R. Mukundan, T. Rockward, J. Keller and C. James, “Overview of the DOE hydrogen safety, codes and standards program, part 3: Advances in research and development to enhance the scientific basis for hydrogen regulations, codes and standards,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, pp. 7263-7274, 2017.

[25] H. Pasman, “Challenges to improve confidence level of risk assessment of hydrogen technologies,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 36, pp. 2407-2413, 2011.

[26] L. Zhiyong, P. Xiangmin and M. Jianxin, “Quantitative risk assessment on 2010 Expo hydrogen station,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 36, pp. 4079-4086, 2011.

[27] A. Tchouvelev, R. Hay and P. Benard, “Comparative risk estimation of compressed hydrogen and CNG refuelling options,” in Proceedings of National Hydrogen Association Conference, 2007.

[28] K. Sun, X. Pan, Z. Li and J. Ma, “Risk analysis on mobile hydrogen refueling stations in Shanghai,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 39, pp. 20411-20419, 2014.

[29] A. Bentaib, N. Meynet and A. Bleyer, “Overview on hydrogen risk research and development activities: Methodology and open issues,” Nuclear Engineering and Technology, vol. 47, pp. 26-32, 2015.

[30] I. Mohammadfam and E. Zarei, “Safety risk modeling and major accidents analysis of hydrogen and natural gas releases: A comprehensive risk analysis framework,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 40, pp. 13653-13663, 2015.

[31] Y. Duan, J. Zhao, J. Chen and G. Bai, “A risk matrix analysis method based on potential risk influence: A case study on cryogenic liquid hydrogen filling system,” Process Safety and Environmental Protection, vol. 102, pp. 277-287, 2016.

[32] T. Skjold, D. Siccama, H. Hisken, A. Brambilla, P. Middha, K. Groth and A. LaFleur, “3D risk management for hydrogen installations,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, pp. 7721-7730, 2017.

[33] Y. Huang and G. Ma, “A grid-based risk screening method for fire and explosion events of hydrogen refuelling stations,” International journal of hydrogen energy, vol. 43, pp. 442-454, 2018.

[34] A. LaFleur, A. Muna and K. Groth, “Application of quantitative risk assessment for performance-based permitting of hydrogen fueling stations,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, pp. 7529-7535, 2017.

[35] ISO/TC 197/WG 24, Gaseous hydrogen fueling stations – General requirements, International Organization for Standardization, 2015.

[36] G. Landucci, G. Gubinelli, G. Antonioni and V. Cozzani, “The assessment of the damage probability of storage tanks in domino events triggered by fire,” Accident Analysis & Prevention, no. 6, pp. 1206-1215, 2009.

[37] G. Landucci, F. Argenti, A. Tugnoli and V. Cozzani, “Quantitative assessment of safety barrier performance in the prevention of domino scenarios triggered by fire,” Reliability Engineering & System Safety, vol. 143, p. 30–43, 2015.

[38] D. J. Finney, Probit analysis, 3rd ed., Cambridge University Press: New York, 1971.

[39] V. Cozzani, G. Gubinelli, G. Antonioni, G. Spadoni and S. Zanelli, “The assessment of risk caused by domino effect in quantitative area risk analysis,” Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 127, pp. 14-30, 2005.

[40] A. Papoulis, Probability, random variables, and stochastic processes, 3rd ed., New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965.

[41] V. Shentsov, W. Kim, D. Makarov and V. Molkov, “Numerical Simulations of Experimental Fireball and Blast Wave from a High-Pressure Tank Rupture in a Fire,” in Proc. of the Eighth International Seminar on Fire & Explosion Hazards (ISFEH8), Hefei, China, 2016.

[42] W. Kim, V. Shentsov, D. Makarov and V. Molkov, “High pressure hydrogen tank rupture: blast wave and fireball,” in 6th Intentional Conference on Hydrogen Safety, Yokohama, Japan, 2015.

[43] Greater London Authority, “Land Area and Population Density, Ward and Borough,” 2015. [Online]. Available: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/land-area-and-population-density-ward-and-borough.

[44] HSE, “Cost Benefit Analysis,” 2015. [Online]. Available: http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/theory/alarpcheck.htm.

[45] A. Rodionov, H. Wikening and P. Moretto, “Risk assessment of hydrogen explosion for private car with hydrogen-driven engine,” Internationa Journal of Hydrogen Energy, no. 3, pp. 2398-2406, 2011.

[46] Statistica, “The statitistical portal,” 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/299972/average-age-of-cars-on-the-road-in-the-united-kingdom/.

[47] J. Saw, Y. Flauw, M. DemeestereE, V. Naudet, P. Blanc-Vannet, K. Hollifield and J. Wilday, “The EU FireComp Project and risk assessment of hydrogen composite storage applications using bow-tie analysis,” in Hazards 26, Edinburgh UK, 2016.

[48] Toyota, “2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Sedan Production Information,” 2016. [Online]. Available: http://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2016+toyota+mirai+fuel+cell+product.htm.

[49] A. Yamashita, M. Kondo, S. Goto and N. Ogami, “Development of high-pressure hydrogen storage systems for Toyota "Mirai",” SAE Technical Paper, DOI: 10.4271/2015-01-1169, 2015.

[50] S. Brennan and V. Molkov, “Safety assessment of unignited hydrogen discharge from onboard storage in garages with low levels of natural ventilation,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 38, no. 19, p. 8159–8166, 2013.

[51] S. Kashkarov, Z. Li and V. Molkov, “Nomograms for assessment of hazard distances from a blast wave after high-pressure hydrogen cylinder rupture in a fire,” in Proceedings of the Eighth International Seminar on Fire & Explosion Hazards (ISFEH8), Hefei, China, 2016.

[52] J. Hord, “Is hydrogen a safe fuel?,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 3, pp. 157-176, 1978.

[53] M. Assael and K. Kakosimos, Fires, explosions, and toxic gas dispersions: effects calculation and risk analysis, Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, 2010.

[54] Reliability Analysis Center, “Non electronic parts reliability data,” 1991. [Online]. Available: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a242083.pdf.

[55] J. LaChance, A. Tchouvelev and A. Engebo, “Development of uniform harm criteria for use in quantitative risk analysis of the hydrogen infrastructure,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 36, no. 3, p. 2381–2388, 2011.

[56] G. Haugom, H. Rikheim and S. Nilsen, “Hydrogen Applications. Risk Acceptance Criteria and Risk Assessment Methodology,” in European Hydrogen Energy Conference, Grenoble (France), 2003.

[57] V. Molkov, D. Makarov and S. Kashkarov, “Composite pressure vessel for hydrogen storage”. UK Patent 1702362.3, 2017.

[58] E. H. Decker, A. J. Kerkhoff and M. E. Moses, “Global patterns of city size distributions and their fundamental drivers,” PLoS One, vol. 2, p. e934, 2007.

[59] X. Gabaix and Y. M. Ioannides, “The evolution of city size distribution,” in Handbook of urban and regional economics, Volume IV: Cities and geography, J. V. Henderson and J. F. Thisse, Eds., Amsterdam, North-Holland Publishing Company, 2003.


  • Hydrogen safety
  • Quantitative risk assessment
  • Onboard hydrogen storage
  • Blast wave and fireball
  • Fire resistance rating
  • Socio-economics


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk assessment methodology for onboard hydrogen storage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this