Hydrogen is commonly used as a fuel gas, reaction gas, and carrier gas in gas chromatography applications. Hydrogen gas generators are a safe, cost-effective alternative to using high pressure hydrogen cylinders in the laboratory. Below we explore the top frequently asked questions about using a hydrogen gas generator.
Is using a hydrogen generator safe?
Yes. The hydrogen generator stores less than 300ml at a low pressure, compared to cylinders that store up to 6500 liters at high pressure. Parker Hydrogen Gas Generators produce only the amount needed by the gas chromatograph (GC) and shut down automatically if a loss in pressure is detected. The generator will also sound an audible alarm and shut down if demand exceeds the generator’s capacity, pressure builds inside the generator, or there is a leak inside the generator.
Do I need to vent my GCs?
No. Any hydrogen exhausted from the GC will quickly diffuse in the air. The lower explosive limit (LEL) of hydrogen is 4%, and it is nearly impossible to reach this level in a normal laboratory environment.
Do I need a hydrogen sensor in the lab?
No. The amount of hydrogen exhausted in the laboratory is not enough to accumulate and reach the LEL of hydrogen. As mentioned above, the LEL of hydrogen is 4% and it is nearly impossible to reach this level in a normal laboratory environment.
Do I need a hydrogen sensor in the GC oven?
No. Many new GCs come with sensors inside the oven. GC ovens, by design, are not sealed, so buildup does not easily occur. Please check with the manufacturer of your GC.
Are hydrogen generators difficult to maintain?
No. Maintenance is easy and cost-effective. Simply fill the deionized water reservoir weekly/biweekly, or use the auto fill feature. Preventive maintenance (PM) services are available whereby a trained technician can conduct the maintenance.
How many GCs can a hydrogen generator run?
There is no "one size fits all" solution for sizing a hydrogen generator for carrier use. Please contact your local sales representative for assistance.
Can I store the hydrogen I generate?
Although it is possible, Parker Hannifin does not recommend storing the hydrogen in a reservoir.
Safety, installation and maintenance
Hydrogen gas generators completely eliminate the safety hazards involved with handling high pressure cylinders. Enjoy hassle-free automation with no tanks to change and no downtime.
What are the benefits of hydrogen generators over cylinders?
• Lower pressure is safer.
• Controlled flow maintains safe hydrogen levels.
• Built-in leak sensors and automatic shut down feature.
• On-demand production means smaller storage quantities.
Is it difficult to install a hydrogen generator?
Not at all. Simply fill with deionized water and connect to an electrical supply. Then plumb to your instrument using 1/8” pre-cleaned, refrigerant grade copper or stainless steel piping for carrier gas applications.
What purity of water do I need to operate a hydrogen generator?
Parker Hannifin Hydrogen Generators require deionized water (DI) of 1 megohm purity or better. If DI water is not available, please source a system with adequate capacity and purity for your hydrogen generator.
For more information about the benefits of using Parker Hydrogen Gas Generators, read this case study. You can also visit our website or call (800) 343-4048.