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Ultra stainless steel for hydrogen production

A stainless steel made in Hong Kong is said to have high corrosion resistance for hydrogen from seawater.

This development from Professor Mingxin Huang’s team at the University of Hong Kong regarding the creation of a new stainless steel, named SS-H2, tailored for hydrogen production from seawater electrolysis, is indeed promising. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Corrosion Resistance: Traditional stainless steel corrodes in electrochemical environments due to the formation of soluble hexavalent chromium ions. SS-H2 addresses this by employing a sequential dual-passivation mechanism involving chromium and manganese, which forms a protective film resistant to corrosion even at high potentials.

Cost-Effectiveness: SS-H2 is expected to significantly reduce costs compared to the current practice of using high-purity titanium coated with gold and platinum. The cost-saving projection is based on the comparatively lower raw material prices of SS-H2 and the avoidance of expensive precious metal coatings.

Performance: SS-H2 exhibits low electrochemical impedance, making it suitable for hydrogen production. Compared to pure titanium, SS-H2 demonstrates significantly lower impedance, making it an attractive option for industrial applications.

Mechanical Properties: SS-H2 maintains similar mechanical properties to traditional stainless steel, simplifying the manufacturing process as there is no need to upgrade production lines. This ensures a smooth transition to using SS-H2 in place of conventional materials.

Future Development: The team aims to further optimize the dual-passivation mechanism to reduce material costs and enhance performance. Additionally, they plan to focus on developing material-forming techniques to streamline the manufacturing process.


Overall, the development of SS-H2 holds great potential for advancing the commercialization of water electrolyzers for hydrogen production, particularly from seawater, by offering a cost-effective and corrosion-resistant alternative to traditional materials.

Read the full story from IOM3