[BLT Insight]Hydrogen detection sensor in Korea

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In line with the transition to the hydrogen energy era, there is significant interest in the field of hydrogen detection sensors. Hydrogen detection sensors can be defined as sensors that detect and alert when hydrogen gas leaks occur in hydrogen-powered vehicles, hydrogen refueling stations, industrial equipment, etc. Hydrogen, being a flammable gas, poses a risk of fire or explosion when mixed with inert gases (e.g., oxygen), making sensors that detect it crucial for the entire hydrogen-related system.

Senco Co., Ltd. (CEO Ha Seung-cheol) attracted attention in the market by developing solid electrolyte materials for mass production of hydrogen detection sensors. Senco Co., Ltd. secured a ₩25 billion investment from the POSCO Group in 2021 for its development. Senco Co., Ltd. successfully developed the world's first ultra-compact electrochemical gas detection sensor and holds approximately 160 patents and certifications related to gas sensors. With this technology, Senco Co., Ltd. has around 1,000 customers worldwide and is expanding into countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and China. Senco Co., Ltd. is conducting research and development to miniaturize and enhance the hydrogen gas detection sensor technology, aiming to replace liquid electrolytes with film materials and related processes through collaborative research with institutions such as the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Seoul National University, and UNIST. Additionally, they are developing next-generation chip-shaped sensors using MEMS technology.



Recent increased interest in hydrogen energy has led to active development of hydrogen detection sensors. For example, Daehyun ESTI Co., Ltd. (CEO Um Joo-hong) successfully developed a hydrogen sensor capable of detecting both low concentration (ppm level) and high concentration (100%) hydrogen using multilayer thin film alloy catalyst-electrodes. Furthermore, they are actively developing color-changing hydrogen sensors that operate smoothly even in high-temperature and high-humidity environments (60°C/90%, 85°C/85%). Government-funded research institutions are also actively involved in development. For instance, the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has developed a hydrogen sensor capable of detecting trace amounts of hydrogen gas by applying stannic oxide and electrodes. Additionally, the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science has succeeded in developing a hydrogen sensor capable of detecting one trillionth of hydrogen using molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nano-branch materials. Thus, hydrogen detection sensors are significantly advancing in line with the development of hydrogen energy.


In November 2022, the government presented the national task of 'Establishment of a Clean Hydrogen Supply Network and Promotion of the World's Leading Hydrogen Industry' and announced three major hydrogen economy policy directions (Scale-Up, Build-Up, Level Up) to achieve it. To this end, the government is in the process of introducing the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) system for mandatory hydrogen generation.


The government and policies are accelerating the transformation into the hydrogen industry. The transition to hydrogen energy is expected to proceed as an unstoppable energy revolution. It is deemed necessary for companies to adapt to these changes accordingly.


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