Active Patent Applications in the Technical Field of Hydrogen Storage and Carriage Using Metals
Per increasing social interest in a hydrogen economy, active patent applications for safe storage and carriage of hydrogen using metals are looked at below.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), as the number of patent applications associated with the storage and carriage of hydrogen using metals was 135 cases during the most recent 5 years (2014-2018), this constituted a more than 33% increase in comparison with the 5 previous years (2009-2013, 101 cases).
From this, it can be interpreted that corporations’ interest in safely and efficiently utilizing hydrogen was reflected due to hydrogen being spotlighted as a future energy source.
Reviewing application trends per technology, it can be seen that technology for storage and carriage of solid hydrogen was most polular at 226 cases (95.8%), while technology for storage and carriage of hydrogen gas and liquid hydrogen involved 10 cases (4.2%).
The reason why the technology for storage and carriage of solid hydrogen constituted the majority of applications is because it is possible to use metallic alloys for hydrogen storage so as to make a metal hydride that absorbs hydrogen upon cooling or applying pressure, and which releases hydrogen upon heating or reducing pressure.
In the case of using such a metallic alloy for hydrogen storage, the hydrogen is stored in a solid metal hydride, so the explosion hazard is removed and the volume of hydrogen can be decreased to the extent that there is only approximately 14% of the volume of a high pressure cylinder of storing hydrogen as a gas, and storage ability is accordingly improved thereby.
Within the technology for storage and carriage of solid hydrogen field, patent applications for metallic alloys for hydrogen storage that can increase hydrogen storage efficiency, etc. made up 67 cases (28.4%), and technologies for utilizing such metallic alloys for hydrogen storage in manufacturing containers, tanks, etc. used in vehicles, vessels, storage equipment, etc. involved 159 cases (67.4%).
Reviewing application trends per applicant, it was found that domestic applicants filed 191 cases (80.9%) and foreign applicants filed 45 cases (19.1%). Classifying domestic applicants by type, it can be seen that the ratio of domestic companies (105 cases, 44.5%) is the highest, and applications filed by institutes (43 cases, 18.2%) came next, followed by universities (22 cases, 9.3%) and individuals (21 cases, 8.9%). For the patent applications filed by foreign applicants, the percentage of applications was highest for Japan (24 cases, 10.2%), followed by the U.S.A. (12 cases, 5.1%) and Europe (7 cases, 3.0%) in order.
The Metals Examination Team Chief of KIPO stated, “In a hydrogen economy society, the technology for safe storage and carriage of hydrogen is one of the core technologies, so it is expected that development of such technology will be fierce going forward” and stressed, “For market preoccupancy, securing original technology and intellectual property rights is of prime importance.”
1. Status of Applications related to Technologies for Storage and Carriage of Hydrogen (‘09~’18)
2. Status of Applicants related to the Technologies for Storage and Carriage of Hydrogen (‘09~’18)
- Detailed Status of the Filing of Applications per Foreign Applicants