Koloma drives environmental preservation with ingenuity. Our production process requires minimal surface disruption and uses less water and energy than any alternative form of hydrogen production.
Koloma is committed to the highest standards and industry best practices for handling hydrogen, ensuring the safety of our employees, our partners, and the environment.
Koloma strives to be a positive presence in the communities where we operate by spurring economic development and creating high quality employment opportunities. We take proactive steps to be a good neighbor and corporate citizen.
A major hurdle to decarbonization is the intermittent nature of most clean energy technologies. Koloma’s method of hydrogen production addresses this challenge by providing clean, cost-competitive hydrogen 24 hours a day without interruption.
Intellectual integrity and data-driven analysis are the foundation of everything we do. Our operations are designed and continuously optimized by the best and brightest in the exploration community.
Estimated Impact of the US H2 Industry
Reduction in CO2 Emissions by 2050
The Basics of Hydrogen Safety
Koloma’s rigorous approach to hydrogen safety starts with the core scientific facts: hydrogen is a flammable gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-corrosive, and non-toxic. It is the lightest gas in the universe and has an ultralow boiling point (-423 F, 20.3 K). This means that an accumulation of hydrogen in the presence of an ignition source and oxidizer presents the most significant risk. Fortunately, robust safety protocols have been developed over the last 180+ years of hydrogen production and use. This has enabled the hydrogen industry to grow with relatively few, isolated safety incidents; over the last decade, less than 1 incident per year involving hydrogen were reported to OSHA. None of these incidents occurred at hydrogen production facilities, an impressive feat considering that 10 million metric tonnes of hydrogen are produced in the US annually1. In essence, hydrogen is not inherently more or less safe; it is simply different. Awareness of hydrogen’s unique attributes means these risks can be successfully minimized.
The best safety practices for handling hydrogen and preventing leaks start with focusing on two key properties of hydrogen: its size and its low viscosity. Because of these two properties, hydrogen can leak more readily and escape from tiny gaps in piping joints. It can also be absorbed into metals, resulting in hydrogen embrittlement and increasing the likelihood of a leak occurring. However, hydrogen’s size and low density means it is very buoyant and diffuses easily as a gas, a fact that works in its favor for reducing the risk of hydrogen accumulation (and a reason why adequate ventilation is important).
Compared with other flammable gases and liquids, hydrogen has a wider flammability range, lower ignition energy, and higher autoignition temperature (Table 1). Taken together, hydrogen’s properties mean unique systems, seals, engineering designs, and practices are required to maximize safety. The best and most effective safety protocols eliminate unintentional gas mixing which could lead to a flammable or explosive gas mixture. This can be achieved through selecting hydrogen-compatible materials and integrating design and safety features that prevent leaks. However, even if a leak does develop, a hydrogen fire or explosion will not occur if the hydrogen concentration is too low and if no ignition source is present. This is why using adequate ventilation and anticipating potential ignition mechanisms can further reduce the risk of a fire. Finally, as with all flammable substances, prioritizing best practices, and integrating safety measures for inspection, assembly, operation, and maintenance is necessary.
Table 1. Hydrogen gas characteristic compared to natural gas and
1 “Steel Climate Impact – An International Benchmarking of Energy and CO2 Intensities,” Global Efficiency Intelligence, accessed January 19, 2023 (Source link)
1 “Climate Change: The Massive CO2 Emitter You May Not Know About,” BBC News, December 17, 2018, sec. Science & Environment (Source link)
1 Freight Transportation,” MIT Climate Portal, accessed January 17, 2023 (Source link)
1 “Action on Clean Hydrogen Is Needed to Deliver Net-Zero by 2050. Here’s How,” World Economic Forum, accessed January 18, 2023 (Source link)
1 “Accident Search Results Page | Occupational Safety and Health Administration Osha.Gov,” accessed January 18, 2023 (Source link)
Koloma’s Culture of Safety
Safety is a key company value at Koloma, and we employ top safety practices as part of our responsibility to our employees, partners, and communities. Safety is an active process that is as reliant on the engineering systems we deploy in the field as on the people who work at or around our operations. We also know from historical industry accidents that safety incidents are often the result of failures in several layers of defense (Figure 1). This is why we take an “all of the above” approach. At Koloma, we aim to be the preeminent geologic hydrogen producer, which means insisting on the highest safety and environmental standards.
Koloma’s Safety Policies
While Safety permeates Koloma’s entire culture, it’s also evident in many specific operating policies we hold. Examples of our operating policies include:
- Required extensive safety training for all employees;
- Required specialized safety training for employees entering our operation sites;
- Continuously monitored safety reporting email and call-in number;
- Monthly Board of Directors-level safety reporting of all incidents and near-misses;
- Processes and materials are assessed and selected based on hydrogen compatibility.