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Expert Focus – Hydrogen "heralds the start of a new era"

Pyrocontrole, part of the Chauvin Arnoux Group, has been developing its solutions and expertise for nearly 130 years. Today, for its first edition, "Expert Focus" interviews Bruno Burioni, Hydrogen Key Accounts Manager at Pyrocontrole.




Pyrocontrole, part of the Chauvin Arnoux Group, has been developing its solutions and expertise for nearly 130 years. Today, for its first edition, "Expert Focus" interviews Bruno Burioni, Hydrogen Key Accounts Manager at Pyrocontrole, about the evolution of the Hydrogen value chain in 2022. I can confirm that their awareness of climate issues runs particularly deep!


-        Why choose hydrogen?


We have been manufacturing temperature sensors for harsh environments in all types of industries for more than 70 years. We handle applications involving both gases and fluids, which may be corrosive. We work in hazardous areas with ATEX certification and SIL2 safety levels. It was therefore clear to us that we had a role to play in the hydrogen value chain, from production to usage and including transport and storage. We turned our attention to hydrogen because we have solutions suitable for that sector. The temperatures can range from -258°C for liquid hydrogen storage to +100°C, at high pressures, with a safe working pressure of 1,000 bar.


We have proven, safe technical solutions for measuring the temperature of hydrogen: that's why we have our place in this sector.


-        In your opinion, is hydrogen the new oil?


According to Le Figaro Magazine: "For OPEC, oil demand will be driven by developing countries, whereas it will begin falling in the richer OECD countries in 2023. Worldwide, the growth in demand is expected to be significant for the first few years before gradually slowing until it reaches a near-plateau from 2035 onwards," so oil is far from finished .


But, yes, for the richer countries, hydrogen may be the new Eldorado and gradually replace fossil fuels, at least partially. As a reminder, we need to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 to avoid +1.5°C global warming. Hydrogen should help us to do this, but there are still a lot of technical issues to be settled in order to produce it, store it, transport it and distribute it. Hydrogen is a gas, so its temperature is a physical quantity which has to be controlled: Pyrocontrole can contribute considerable expertise in this field.


Much of the hydrogen used today is manufactured from fossil fuels, so the challenge is to produce it from renewable energy sources.


-        Why is there such enthusiasm surrounding hydrogen and why now?


It's the start of a new era! As we only have the one planet, we have to leave it in good health for future generations. By working on temperature measurements in applications linked to H2 and covering the whole hydrogen value chain, Pyrocontrole is contributing to this effort. It's gratifying and I admit that I'm enjoying developing this market and discussing the issues encountered with the various actors – particularly when the subject is temperature measurement, of course.


-        Will the prohibition of internal combustion engines in 2035 give Pyrocontrole a boost?


On June 8th, 2022, the European Parliament voted to prohibit the sale of new vehicles with petrol or diesel engines. This means that cars will have to be driven by an electric motor powered either by batteries or by fuel cells running on hydrogen. Work is also under way to enable internal combustion engines to run on hydrogen so that our current vehicles can be converted to use H2 as fuel.

A major effort will be needed to provide the various countries with coverage by H2 refuelling stations.

Pyrocontrole is helping certain H2 distributors to reduce and optimizing vehicle recharging times through improved temperature control of the H2 in the dispenser. In this context, Pyrocontrole could well see a boost to its sales in this sector, to use your term.


-        Which project in the hydrogen sector has surprised you most?


What surprises me the most is the way hydrogen has imposed itself as the energy source of the future. In just a few months, projects have been developed and funded, companies have been founded, research projects are being brought back out of the filing cabinet, specialized training cycles have been set up and technical issues have been resolved... As I'm an optimist, I tell myself all this has arrived just in time to help us deal with global warming.

One project which surprises and inspires me is the H2 scooter with a removable H2 cartridge: you can keep some in reserve and it's easy to change, so there's no risk of running out. I find the idea original and it should help to cut noise and pollution in our cities.



-        At what level in the hydrogen value chain does Pyrocontrole get involved?


H2 is a gas and, as for all gases, temperature is a crucial parameter which must be controlled art all stages of the value chain. We are involved in the H2 production stage, whatever the process used, the transport stage (truck, boat, and soon by hydrogen pipelines), the storage of pressurized or liquid gas, and during use for the dispenser stations, fuel cells, electrical generator sets and mobility (Air/Sea/Land).



-        What are the upcoming events where we can meet Pyrocontrole?


I will be at the 9th Regional Hydrogen Days in Rouen, from July 5th to 7th 2022, and we will have a stand at the HyVolution trade show at Paris Porte de Versailles on February 2nd and 3rd, 2023.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to discuss your hydrogen projects. 


Lien brochure Hydrogène

To register for the 9th edition of the Regional Hydrogen Days: click here