Applications of Composite Materials in the Green Hydrogen Industry | P-TREX
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Applications of Composite Materials in the Green Hydrogen Industry

Thanks to collaboration with the renowned Belgian group John Cockerill, P-TREX, industrial business unit of Fibre Net Group, has developed customized solutions using composite materials for the green hydrogen industry, achieving results beyond expectations.

Green hydrogen, produced through water electrolysis using renewable sources, is emerging as a promising solution to address issues related to fossil fuels and climate change. Green hydrogen production plants require advanced and reliable technology to operate efficiently and safely. In this context, composite materials play a crucial role, offering significant advantages in terms of performance, durability, and cost reduction. P-TREX, business unit of Fibre Net Group dedicated to the development of FRP (Fiber-Reinforced Polymer) solutions for several industry sectors, has participated in a significant project for the European energy landscape. P-TREX provided FRP structures and systems, together with specialized engineering services and technical consultancy. The presence and support of the renowned John Cockerill Industry Group have been fundamental in achieving this important milestone for P-TREX, opening new prospects in the energy sector through competence and innovative capabilities.


For the green hydrogen production plant at John Cockerill Environment in the Alsace region of France, P-TREX developed and supplied custom FRP solutions for machinery access and internal structures. FRP, a composite material consisting of fiberglass and thermosetting resins, is characterized by excellent chemical and mechanical properties. Its application within the green hydrogen production plant immediately solved challenges related to high corrosion rates due to water and aggressive chemical agents. Traditional ferrous materials would not have been able to provide the same performance guarantees. The use of composite materials, unlike traditional options, ensures higher operational efficiency, with maintenance costs reduced almost to zero due to the long service life of the structure.


Beyond exceptional corrosion resistance, FRP structures and systems are known for being lightweight and mechanically strong structural elements. Green hydrogen production plants require solid and robust yet lightweight structures to minimize energy consumption and CO2 emissions associated with transportation and installation.


Furthermore, the Italian company’s engineering expertise in composite materials enabled the agile handling of issues like high loads on trolleys in specific plant areas, and most importantly, ensuring safety in restricted access areas. Starting from contextual analysis and preliminary designs, P-TREX’s technical office supported John Cockerill Industry in various stages of access system design, considering the compliance needs of the work with existing civil engineering. The project encompasses 2 walkways of 50 linear meters each, complete with guardrails, fixed ladder and stairs with intrusion prevention system, and gratings for “PREPARATION” and “NICKEL PLATING” zones. In terms of statistics, this involves 300 m² of gratings, 170 m² of walkways, 6 stairs (2 with intrusion prevention system), 2 fixed ladder with intrusion prevention system, and 220 linear meters of wall-mounted guardrails with ergonomic handrails, designed with a horizontal weighted load of 50 kg/m.


P-TREX emerges as a reliable and skilled partner, capable of providing innovative solutions and technical support for the successful configuration of green hydrogen production plants. P-TREX’s technical office, composed of a group of highly qualified engineers experienced in composite materials technology, played a decisive role in designing, developing, and implementing customized solutions. It is precisely the skill in applying composite materials to industrial contexts that makes P-TREX a trusted partner in ensuring an efficient and effective project, from the beginning of the design phase to the site visit to inspect the finished and perfectly functioning work.


The green hydrogen industry is destined to grow in the sustainable energy landscape, and the use of composite materials plays a essential role in ensuring optimal performance, safety, and sustainability of the plants. Thanks to their combination of mechanical and chemical properties, composite materials enable the tackling of technical challenges associated with green hydrogen production, thus contributing to building a cleaner and ecologically sustainable future.


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