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Hydrogen is recognized as a flexible carrier of renewable energy: it can be produced from any energy source, and also converted into various forms. The main challenges with hydrogen are related to its production and storage. Global annual hydrogen demand is below 2% of the world energy production. Furthermore, most of the hydrogen today is produced from fossil sources, 50% from natural gas, 30% as a by-product from the petroleum refining, 18% from coal, and only 4% by water electrolysis.

Hydrogen is colorless, odorless, and non-toxic substance; the lightest and smallest of the elements. Due to its small molecule size, hydrogen embrittles some metals and generally, hydrogen needs to be handled properly. Hydrogen has high energy content by weight, but low energy content by volume, and thus its storage is challenging.  Hydrogen can be stored and transported as compressed (CH2), liquefied (LH2) or reversivebly binded into solid materials or liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC). Stored hydrogen can be used later in turbines, in internal combustion engines (ICEs), in high-efficiency fuel cells (FCs) or for chemicals. Hydrogen is also important in refinery processes to upgrade raw fossil and bio-based fuels to final products.  Hydrogen can also be used as blending component in methane (hytane).

Hydrogen can also be converted into synthetic liquid electro-fuels (e-fuels), such as e-methanol, e-methane, liquid e-hydrocarbons, e-formic acid, e-ammonia and its derivatives (Table 1). With electro-fuel concept, using renewable hydrogen and atmospheric CO2 or nitrogen, the total cycle can be carbon-neutral. E-fuels resembling conventional fossil fuels are readily compatible with internal combustion engines of today.

Table 1. Pathways from hydrogen to end-use.


Compressed H2 (CH2)

Liquefied H2 (LH2)

Solid or liquid organic (LOHC) storage

Internal combustion engines




Fuel cells


Industrial use

Hydrogen + CO2

(methane, methanol etc.)

Hydrogen + N2

Ammonia and its derivatives

Advanced Motor Fuels is one of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) transportation related Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCP). AMF TCP has not been working directly on hydrogen as motor fuel, however, hydrogen based elecro-fuels are handled in Annexes of chemically similar fossil fuels (diesel, methane, methanol). (AMF,

Hydrogen TCP focuses on the management of coordinated hydrogen research, development and demonstration activities on a global basis ( Recent work of Hydrogen TCP covers:

  • Task 37 - Hydrogen Safety
  • Task 38 - Power-To-Hydrogen and Hydrogen-To-X
  • Task 39 - Hydrogen in Marine Applications
  • Task 40 - Energy Storage and conversion based on hydrogen
  • Task 41 - Data and Modelling (Sub-Task C – Cooperation with ETSAP)

The following links will provide information of hydrogen properties, its purity and storage opportunities

Advanced Fuel Cells TCP works on standards and regulations as well as application areas in the transport sector. The information is provided by the