Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Hydrogen Safety Sensor

A low-cost, reliable hydrogen safety sensor for vehicle and infrastructure applications.

LAUR: 16-22649


  • Inexpensive Hydrogen Sensor for H2 Detection in Air- Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a zirconia-based, electrochemical (mixed-potential) hydrogen safety sensor.
  • Enhanced Reproducibility and Selectivity- LANL and LLNL R&D have successfully addressed the issues of reproducibility, selectivity, and sensor aging being restricted by commercialization.
  • Stable and Reproducible Three Phase Interfaces- The response stability and sensitivity are generated by sensing electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen on a robust ceramic platform.

W.J. Buttner, C. Rovkin, R. Burgess, E. Brosha, R. Mukundan, W. James, and J. Keller, “The Hydrogen Safety Sensor Program within the US DOE Hydrogen Safety, Codes and Standards Office,” ICHE, Japan, Fall 2015.

P.K. Sekhar, J. Zhou, M.B. Post, L. Woo, W.J. Buttner, W.R. Penrose, R. Mukundan, C.R. Kreller, R.S. Glass, F.H. Garzon and E.L. Brosha, “Independent testing a validation of prototype hydrogen sensors,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 39 (2014) 4657-4663.

Praveen K. Sekhar, Eric L. Brosha, Rangachary Mukundan, Hanna Mekonen, Boris Farber, Cortney Kreller, and Fernando H. Garzon, “Packaging and Testing of a Hydrogen Safety Sensor Prototype,” J. Hydrogen Energy 37 no. 19 (2012) 14707-14713.

P.K.Sekhar, E.L.Brosha, R. Mukundan, T. L. Williamson, M.A.Nelson and F.H.Garzon, “Development and Testing of a Hydrogen Safety Sensor Prototype”, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical 148, 469 (2010).


U.S. Patent # 6,656,336, “Method for Forming a Potential Hydrocarbon Sensor with Low Sensitivity to Methane and CO, issued Dec 2, 2003 (DOE S-97,844).

U.S. Patent # 6,605,202, “Electrodes for Solid State Gas Sensor”, issued Aug 12, 2003 (DOE S-99,902).

U.S. Patent # 7,214,333, “Electrodes for Solid State Gas Sensor”, issued May 8, 2007 (DOE S-100,634).

U.S. Patent # 7,264,700, “Thin Film Mixed Potential Sensors”; issued Sept. 4, 2007 (DOE S-100,655).

Development Stage

TRL 7. DOE sponsored field trials testing complete.  Technology is part of DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Tech Transfer Opportunity January 2016. TRL 7.  New hydrogen filling stations in process of being selected to expand field trials testing in FY16.