Welcome to a New Hydrogen Economy

The next phase of the global energy transition is widely thought to hinge on development of a new hydrogen economy. Hydrogen (H2) is a versatile energy carrier that can decarbonize energy and a wide range of industrial and other sectors. HydroPel enables this global transition, decarbonizing heavy industry, reducing GHG emissions, and mitigating climate change.

The Potentials of Hydrogen

Hydrogen (H2) will play a critical role in the world’s transition to clean energy. For the hydrogen economy to become a reality, major challenges around green H2 generation, transmission at scale, and safe use must be solved. Transporting H2 through existing pipelines is widely viewed as the best pathway toward green hydrogen economy.

HydroPel Technology

HydroPel is a unique nanomaterial treatment for pipelines and tanks to make them safe for H2 transportation and storage. When exposed to H2, steel is at risk of a phenomenon called ‘hydrogen embrittlement’ that occurs when H2 molecules diffuse into steel, creating brittleness that leads to cracks, leaks, and failures.

Hydrogen Embrittlement

HydroPel was designed to address the key safety issue of hydrogen embrittlement, wherein the extremely small hydrogen molecule can diffuse into conventional steel causing it to become brittle, and eventually crack and leak. HydroPel is unique, not only in that it averts the need to construct new expensive pipelines from hydrogen-resistant metals, but that it can be applied in-situ to existing infrastructure utilizing an intelligent “pig” – an artificially intelligent machine that moves through the existing pipeline, examining, treating and documenting at each step.

Gas Blending and Transportation

A growing body of research shows that hydrogen will be critical in meeting carbon and emission goals. Estimates by EU, IEA, and US Department of Energy indicate that the transportation of hydrogen in pipelines is significantly lower in cost compared to other methods, like compression, ammonia storage, or liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC). If existing pipelines can be made safe for H2 blending, refurbishment would provide massive cost and time savings, would require less modification, and possesses right of way (ROW) to implement hydrogen strategy in a short span of time.

New vs. Refurbished

In the U.S. market alone, there are more than 3.5 million miles of existing natural gas pipelines that could potentially be used for H2 transportation if retrofitted with HydroPel. As of 2022, experts estimate an approximate cost of $4.65 million/mile (36” diameter) to lay new hydrogen-resistant pipelines. There also are significant hurdles in building new pipelines, such as permitting, environmental, and cultural concerns. HydroPel can be applied to existing US pipelines at a cost of just $0.239 million/mile –1/20th of the cost of laying new pipe.

HydroPel's Impact

If the US were to replace this existing pipeline network with new hydrogen-specific pipelines the cost is estimated to be $4.65 million per mile – or over $16 trillion in total – most of which would be funded by taxpayers or absorbed by energy customers in the form of higher energy costs.

Relative to building new pipelines, HydroPel is a low cost and a solution that can be implemented today. HydroPel is a promising step toward rapidly reducing the world’s carbon emissions that offers a pathway to H2 usage at scale, delivering a 16% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. HydroPel is a great example of applying a disruptive innovation to existing infrastructure, to rapidly deliver a low-cost solution to an intractable problem.

Clean-Burning Hydrogen Distribution At Scale

In order for Hydrogen to be used at scale, it must be distributed safely and cost-effectively. HydroPel can make existing natural gas infrastructure safe for hydrogen transportation and storage.


It works by creating a passivating barrier, through which H2 molecules are unable to penetrate and diffuse into the pipeline wall. By preventing the hydrogen embrittlement effect, HydroPel enables the refurbishment and use of over 3 million miles of existing US pipeline to carry H2 blends.

Our Partnership with Hawaii gas

HydroPel's polymeric formulation designed for application to a wide variety of metllic surfaces, creating a superior functional surface through advanced nanotechnology.

In October 2022, Oceanit and Hawaiʻi Gas announced a new collaboration to deploy HydroPel with Hawaiʻi Gas’s network of pipelines that accommodate a mix of natural gas and up to 20% hydrogen – more utility hydrogen than any other gas utility company in the United States.

The partnership with Oceanit has to do with new technology for transforming pipelines that carry natural gas right now, to be better prepared for carrying a blend of natural gas and hydrogen. The reason Oceanit is partnering with Hawaii Gas is because we’ve been the only utility in the country to blend hydrogen with natural gas for utility gas distribution for almost 50 years now. There are a lot of companies on the Mainland interested in doing this.

-Hawaii Gas Vice President of Operations Kevin M. Nishimura

Advanced Nanocomposites

Oceanit's nanocomposite surface treatments impart valuable attributes such as hydrophobicity, oleophobicity, ice & deposition repellency, corrosion & erosion prevention, and bio-growth release.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about HydroPel, please send us a message using the form to the right.

To learn more about any of Oceanit’s other functional coatings & surface treatments, or our any of our other products, please visit Oceanit’s corporate website.

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