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NREL Collaborates to Commercialize Fiber Hydrogen Optic Sensor

April 21, 2008

Under a collaborative research and development agreement (CRADA), NREL is working with Nuclear Filter Technology to develop and commercialize NREL's innovative fiber optic hydrogen sensor technology. This technology provides industry with the early detection of hydrogen in the air, which only takes a small spark to ignite and explode.

NREL's fiber optic hydrogen sensor utilizes a non-ignitable, flexible, thin, glass or plastic, fiber optic strand that transmits light to a thin film material. The material changes color in response to the presence of hydrogen. The CRADA allows NREL and Nuclear Filter Technology to develop a full-scale prototype of this technology, which ultimately will result in commercially available products.

Industries that use or produce hydrogen can apply this technology. Applications include those for the following industries:

  • Petrochemical
  • Transportation
  • Fuel cell
  • Fuel production
  • Food processing
  • Natural gas
  • Nuclear waste

Nuclear Filter Technology is also licensing several NREL inventions related to the fiber optic and thin film materials that sense the presence of hydrogen.