Advanced Clean Energy program: Hydrogen

Canada is one of the top 10 global producers of hydrogen today, and is well-placed to transition to clean-hydrogen production and become a major clean-hydrogen exporter. On December 16, 2020, the Government of Canada announced its hydrogen strategy to assert Canadian leadership in hydrogen technologies and accelerate hydrogen adoption in multiple sectors of the economy.

The hydrogen pillar of the NRC's Advanced Clean Energy program develops technologies with collaborators to produce, distribute and use zero-greenhouse-gas emissions hydrogen. The program enables a new generation of zero-carbon fuels and applications, to allow Canada to meet its 2050 net-zero emission targets and diversify Canada's future energy mix, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors.



We have over 20 years' experience in clean-hydrogen production technologies, electrochemistry, materials characterization and testing, hydrogen safety and conversion technologies. We offer clients access to world-class competencies and unique and specialized facilities conveniently located at NRC sites across the country.

Hydrogen production

  • Materials and processes to convert water, plastics and biomass feedstocks at reduced cost and energy intensity
  • Catalytic and biological technologies to upgrade gases to H2-rich streams
  • Hydrogen purification based on membrane-based and electrochemical technologies

Hydrogen distribution and storage

  • Materials testing for compatibility evaluation and blending in pipelines
  • Sensors to detect and measure hydrogen
  • Metering to account for gases with various blends of hydrogen
  • Storage and safety including materials evaluation and codes and standards

System integration and utilization

  • Multi-scale, validated modelling
  • Lifecycle analysis and techno-economic analysis for decision-making
  • Requirements for system integration, supplier qualification and support to regulations, codes and standards
  • Safety assessment
  • Hydrogen conversion technologies including fuel cells, combustion and chemical conversion

Research facilities

Vancouver, British Columbia

Ottawa, Ontario

  • Combustion facilities:
    • Homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine test cell
    • Fuel flexible compression ignition heavy-duty engine test cell
    • Fuel flexible compression ignition power generation engine test cell
    • Emission analyzers
  • Gas turbine laboratory
  • Metrology laboratories
  • Supercritical catalytic gasification

Montréal, Quebec

  • Bioprocesses and bioengineering development for hydrogen production
    • Microbiological lab-scale testing
    • Pre-treatment/conditioning systems
    • Bench/lab-scale bioreactor systems
    • Bench/lab-scale bioelectrochemical systems
    • Biomolecular systems and analysis
    • Analytical lab

Contact us

Francois Girard, Technical Lead, Hydrogen
Telephone: 604-221-3042

Elena Di Francesco, ing., MBA, Business Development Director (acting)
Telephone: 514-496-5297

Targeted collaborators

The hydrogen pillar is looking to collaborate with federal laboratories as well as:

  • companies involved along the hydrogen value chain from production, purification, transmission and distribution to conversion
  • organizations involved in the production of codes and standards
  • governmental bodies at all levels including regulators
  • academia and global R&D organizations

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