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Krytox™ Lubricants - Hydrogen Safe

Understanding Hydrogen Safe Lubricants

Are you looking for top-tier lubricants designed specifically for hydrogen applications? Our team at ChemPoint is proficient in tackling the challenges and demands of specialty lubrication across a range of complex and sensitive applications, including hydrogen-related operations and processing.

Emerging Clean Hydrogen Markets

The world is quickly shifting towards renewable energy and reduced emissions wherever possible. The rise in solar production and electric vehicles (EVs) displacing internal combustion engines (ICEs) is a prime example of this shift towards high-impact solutions in the battle against global warming and carbon dioxide.
Hydrogen processing or hydrogen fuel production is one of the most exciting rising markets. It is fueled by recent legislative initiatives, pumping $7 billion into new hydrogen hub facilities and establishing a goal of 10 million metric tons of hydrogen fuel by 2030*. These large-scale hydrogen production facilities will be highly complex and require high-performance oil and grease lubrication. 

Outlining Hydrogen Safe Lubricants

Hydrogen-safe lubricants must be purposely formulated to withstand the challenges in hydrogen-rich settings. Industries that utilize clean hydrogen as a fuel source or in their manufacturing processes find these lubricants critical to their operations and cannot function properly with other lubricants.

Hydrogen is a highly reactive gas, prone to ignition or explosion when it interacts with certain materials. Regular or general lubricants could pose a serious safety risk in hydrogen-rich environments due to their potential reactivity with the gas and inherent flammability concerns. Hydrogen-safe lubricants are specifically designed to mitigate such risks; they offer low flammability and high chemical stability, making them suitable for use in hydrogen applications.

Aside from enhancing safety, hydrogen-safe lubricants also improve equipment performance and longevity. They can withstand the harsh conditions in hydrogen-rich environments, offer excellent thermal stability and oxidation resistance, and help reduce the frequency of lubricant changes, thus saving costs.

Hydrogen Safe Lubricants

Hydrogen-safe lubricants can be used across a wide range of applications, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen production and storage, and hydrogen-powered industrial equipment.

Key Attributes Hydrogen Safe Lubricants

When choosing a hydrogen-safe lubricant, there are essential key performance attributes. These include high thermal stability and oxidative resistance, compatibility with hydrogen gas, and low friction and wear characteristics.

  • Thermal Stability and Oxidative Resistance: Hydrogen environments often expose lubricants to extreme temperatures and oxidative stress. Therefore, it is vital to select lubricants that can withstand these conditions without breaking down or deteriorating.
  • Hydrogen Compatibility: Hydrogen-safe lubricants must be compatible with hydrogen gas; i.e., they should not react or degrade when in contact with hydrogen. This is crucial for safe and reliable operation.
  • Low Friction and Wear: In hydrogen environments, it is key to minimize friction and wear to optimize efficiency and prevent equipment failure. Hydrogen-safe lubricants should provide excellent wear protection, thus extending the life span of critical components and minimizing downtime and maintenance costs.

Applications of Hydrogen Safe Lubricants

Hydrogen-safe lubricants find application in various areas, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen production and storage, and hydrogen-powered industrial equipment. Here is a closer look at these applications.

  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles: Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which have emerged as a promising solution for sustainable transportation, use hydrogen as a fuel source. Hydrogen-safe lubricants are critical in these vehicles for the efficient operation and longevity of key components.
  • Hydrogen Production and Storage: The production and storage of hydrogen are complex processes that require reliable lubrication solutions. Hydrogen-safe lubricants offer excellent compatibility with hydrogen gas, thereby providing superior protection and extending the life span of equipment.
  • Hydrogen-Powered Industrial Equipment: Hydrogen-powered equipment, such as forklifts and generators, rely on lubricants specifically formulated for hydrogen environments. These lubricants offer exceptional stability, corrosion resistance, and thermal stability, ensuring optimal performance and safety in industrial settings.

Krytox™ PFPE Lubricants 

The Krytox™ portfolio of greases and oils are ideal solutions for hydrogen-safe lubrication. These performance lubricants are formulated with a synthetic perfluoropolyether fluid (PFPE fluid), and the greases contain polytetrafluoroethylene thickeners (PTFE thickeners) for enhanced chemical and thermal stability.

Due to the chemical structure of the base oil, these lubricants are completely nonflammable, resulting in a safe operation at extremely low and high temperatures. The Krytox™ formulation also provides an entirely inert or chemically nonreactive solution, meaning it is an ideal product for applications with highly reactive or harsh chemicals, such as hydrogen, oxygen, and chlorine.

Krytox™ PFPE greases and oils also deliver exceptional compatibility with many common elastomers, polymers, and O-ring materials. They are versatile lubricants for a wide range of niche and specialty applications and long-lasting performance. 

Krytox™ Performance Properties 

There is a wide selection to choose from within the Krytox™ portfolio of PFPE oils and greases. With varying viscosity levels and various performance additives, there is a tailored lubricant solution for nearly every application. 

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