Shell receives Hanwha’s carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks

Hanwha Solutions has joined Shell’s efforts to construct a broad infrastructure for hydrogen refueling in California.

The Korean firm will expedite California’s energy transition and decarbonization ambitions by supplying the oil giant with high-pressure hydrogen tanks for transport inside its network of stations.

Hanwha Cimarron, the hydrogen tank manufacturing business of Hanwha Solutions, announced that it has signed a purchase order with Shell to provide its Type IV high-pressure Neptune hydrogen tanks. The vessels with a capacity of 2,000 liters and carbon fiber reinforcement can store hydrogen at a pressure of 517 bar, the greatest pressure level among Type IV tanks.

Another virtue of the Neptune tanks is their anti-buckling technology, which enables complete hydrogen extraction without incurring internal tank damage. Typically, Type IV high-pressure tanks are required to reserve 10 percent of their total contents to prevent the tank from shrinking during storage, which affects transport efficiency. The US Department of Transportation and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have issued certificates attesting to the stability of Neptune tanks for transportation and storage purposes, respectively.

The hydrogen tanks supplied by Hanwha Cimarron will boost Shell’s ambitions to expand its hydrogen refueling network throughout California. The state operates 52 of the country’s total 66 refueling stations, establishing itself as a vital hydrogen center. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global hydrogen energy storage market is expected to reach $119.2 billion by 2027, with North America accounting for around 13 percent of the overall market volume.

The head of Hanwha Solutions’ Advanced Materials Division, Du-hyoung Ryoo, stated that the contract offers a fantastic basis for the company’s collaboration with Shell and its attempts to extend its foothold in the US hydrogen market. “We are also developing the company’s hydrogen tank business in Europe, notably Germany, in an effort to attract additional global customers.”

Hanwha Cimarron, formerly known as Cimarron Composites and founded by NASA scientist Tom Delay, was acquired by Hanwha Solutions in December 2020 and is trying to expand its company. The company’s $51 million investment plan to construct a manufacturing facility for high-pressure tanks in Opelika, Alabama, is well advanced. The Opelika factory will be able to produce up to 4,000 high-pressure tanks annually after construction is completed later this year.

Hanwha Cimmaron inked a contract in 2021 with the Texas-based energy company Sunbridge Energy Services to offer compressed natural gas storage tanks (CNG). The $260 million contract calls for the delivery of tube trucks carrying dozens of tanks that can store compressed natural gas (CNG) and other pressured gases, such as hydrogen.