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Hydrogen programme

Science to accelerate the clean hydrogen economy

NPL is supporting the Government’s national ambition to achieve 10 GW of low carbon hydrogen production in the UK by 2030 and its wider aims which are detailed in the UK’s Net Zero Hydrogen Strategy.  Achieving these ambitions requires the development of electrochemical technologies, including fuel cells and electrolysers (along with supply chains), and providing support around the deployment of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.  

We are also supporting the acceleration of world-leading electrochemical technologies, as well as ensuring a safe and sustainable transition to hydrogen. Alongside this we are also assessing the suitability of existing gas infrastructure and materials for hydrogen transportation and validating techniques for hydrogen storage. We conducted critical research with key industry stakeholders to identify and prioritise the measurement challenges, as outlined in the Energy transition: Measurement needs within the hydrogen industry report.  

We’re here to work with you 

We’re working with industry, government and beyond to research, develop and implement new clean hydrogen capabilities. Through access to our world-leading research, facilities and people, our metrology programme is helping accelerate the development of a hydrogen economy.  

We host an industrial advisory group (IAG) for the government funded hydrogen programme called Metrology for Clean Hydrogen Energy. If you are interested in joining the group or want to know more about how we can help you, please get in touch. 

Contact us

Hydrogen gas quality

Our hydrogen purity service supports the quality assurance of hydrogen according to ISO 14687. This includes support with quality control plans, sampling from stations, purity analysis and provision of NPL test reports (UKAS testing available). Additionally, we provide primary reference gas mixtures (PRGMs) containing low level impurities in hydrogen which are suitable for laboratory testing or calibration of analysers.

Examples of collaborative research and development include:

Consultancy, commercial products and services available, outlined in our gas and particle metrology measurement services brochure:

  • Primary reference gas mixtures (PRGMs)
  • Hydrogen purity analysis

Fuel cells and electrolysers

We are developing measurement and modelling techniques, tools and standard test methods in collaboration with key stakeholders to maximise the performance, durability and safety of hydrogen electrochemical technologies, including fuel cells and water electrolysers. 

Examples of collaborative research and development include:

  • Developing and standardising new fuel cell and electrolyser test methods
  • Assessing the impact of hydrogen and air impurities on the performance of hydrogen technologies as part of EU projects Metrology for Hydrogen Vehicles 2 and Metrology for Hydrogen Storage
  • Reducing material conservatism by developing techniques to measure and model the conditions inside operating fuel cells and electrolysers
  • Developing quality control techniques for the manufacture of fuel cell and electrode components
  • Providing thought-leadership through critical reviews and opinions
  • Multi-physics modelling of novel electrochemical hydrogen technologies
  • Development and validation of electrochemical measurement technologies


Hydrogen fuel cell for alternative fuel vehicles

Commercial products and services available:

  • Fuel cell single cell and short stack testing (PEM, AEM)
  • Single cell electrolyser testing (PEM, AEM, Alkaline) and device validation
  • Bespoke hydrogen technology component and device measurements
  • General electrochemical technology consultancy – including electrochemistry and modelling

 Find out more about Hydrogen technologies

Hydrogen emissions

Our research is crucial to producing emissions measurement standards for hydrogen for various industries. We are developing services to detect hydrogen emissions and validated quantification technologies. We are also developing hydrogen emissions measurement products and services.

Examples of collaborative research and development includes:

  • Metrology for Clean Hydrogen Energy project
  • EMPIR Decarb project: Metrology for Decarbonising the Gas Grid  
  • Development of hydrogen emissions measurement services and measurement technology validation facility

Materials for hydrogen

We are carrying out research and development on metallic, polymer and composite components and structures which are exposed to various hydrogen environments. This includes the transmission and distribution networks, the use of hydrogen within the aerospace sector and the materials used in electrochemical technologies.

Examples of collaborative research and development includes:

Consultancy and commercial services available:

  • Hydrogen gas permeation testing through polymer materials
  • Mechanical properties at near cryogenic hydrogen temperatures
  • Hydrogen charging of materials

Work with us

Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070