Under the Paris Agreement, governments around the globe are committing to achieving a net-zero emissions future. Hydrogen can play a critical role in these efforts. The use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel has the potential to help decarbonize many sectors of the world’s economy, including power generation, freight and transportation, manufacturing, and resource extraction.

The deployment of hydrogen technologies across various sectors is mostly in the early stages. As these technologies move forward, companies and stakeholders need to better understand how standards and codes can help facilitate their safe and reliable implementation. CSA Group’s activities in this area started more than two decades ago, with the initial work focused on fuel cell technologies. Today, our standards-based solutions cover various aspects of the hydrogen ecosystem, from production to end-use.

CSA Group Hydrogen ecosystem standards and codes
CSA Group hydrogen research initiatives
Harmonization of hydrogen standards
Other relevant CSA Group initiatives
How to engage and learn more

Introducing CSA Group
Canadian Standards Association, operating as CSA Group (CSA Group), is a not-for-profit membership-based organization serving businesses, industry, government, and consumers in Canada, the United States, and around the world. The mission of CSA Group’s Standard Development organization is to enhance the lives of Canadians through the advancement of standards in the public and private sectors.  We are a leader in standards research, development, education, and advocacy.

CSA Group standards are developed through a consensus-based process accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) in Canada and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the U.S. These standards are developed by volunteers representing diverse areas of expertise, viewpoints, and interests. CSA Group standards are voluntary documents; they become mandatory only when incorporated by reference in legislation, regulations, or by-laws by federal, local, state, provincial, or municipal government.

More than 400 expert volunteers currently serve on over 30 CSA Group Technical Committees to develop and maintain 100+ standards and guidelines that support the hydrogen ecosystem.

CSA Group Hydrogen ecosystem standards and codes

CSA Group has been working on standards and codes for the hydrogen ecosystem for various aspects of the hydrogen value chain and subject areas, including:

  • Hydrogen production
  • Carbon capture utilization and storage
  • Hydrogen storage above ground and in underground formations
  • Hydrogen delivery by pipelines and transportation by road, rail, or ships
  • Hydrogen use for various transportation modes
  • Hydrogen use by residential appliances
  • Hydrogen use in commercial/industrial applications

Key CSA Group standards that currently address or are being updated to address aspects of the hydrogen ecosystem include:

  • CSA B22734, Hydrogen generators using water electrolysis – Industrial, commercial, and residential applications (anticipated for publication in early 2023)
  • CSA/ANSI FC 5, Hydrogen generators using fuel processing technologies
  • CSA Z662, Oil and gas pipeline systems
  • CSA Z341 Series, Storage of hydrocarbons in underground formations
  • CSA Z741, Geological storage of carbon dioxide
  • CSA/ANSI HGV Series for hydrogen fueling stations and vehicle components
  • CSA/ANSI standards for stationary and portable fuel cell power systems and fuel cell modules

CSA Group hydrogen research initiatives

With growing interest in utilizing hydrogen in a wide range of applications, CSA Group has also undertaken research initiatives to explore how standards and codes can support the deployment of hydrogen technologies.

Our research on Codes and Standards for Renewable Gas Pathways reviews the current landscape for renewable gas, including hydrogen, and identifies areas where standardization could be beneficial, including defining acceptable renewable gas feedstock, harmonization of specifications and guidelines for renewable natural gas products quality, and requirements for safe and effective operation of renewable gas technologies under real-world conditions.

CSA Group’s study of Appliance and Equipment Performance with Hydrogen-Enriched Natural Gases examines the performance of space and water heating appliances fueled by methane and methane-hydrogen blends containing up to 15% of hydrogen. The research identifies areas where further testing may be required to support the future development of standards and policies for hydrogen-enriched natural gas.

Alternative Fuels and Energy Systems for the Marine Sector research report looks at the role of hydrogen and other alternative fuels in marine transportation and offers insights on decarbonization pathways, business factors, fuelling technology and supply chain readiness, as well as regulatory drivers and status.

Other recently launched CSA Group research initiatives aim to determine standardization gaps and priorities for the classification of carbon intensity of hydrogen production, the use of hydrogen for rail transportation, hydrogen transportation and storage, and hydrogen production using various energy sources.

Harmonization of hydrogen standards

The CSA Group standards development process involves benchmarking and harmonization with internationally accepted requirements and practices. Some of our standards are derived from international standards and customized for the unique needs of Canada and the U.S.

CSA Group plays a key role in North American harmonization by developing binational standards, leveraging the dual accreditation and binational committees, as well as collaborative agreements with other standards development organizations. CSA Group also works closely with SAE International to align standards for fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen refueling. In addition, CSA Group is actively promoting incorporating the hydrogen standards by reference in relevant codes such as the Hydrogen Technologies Code (NFPA 2) and the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code (CHIC).

CSA Group also plays a proactive role in international harmonization, taking leadership roles in many international initiatives under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) committees. As such, CSA Group actively participates on the technical committees (TC), including IEC/TC 105 Fuel cell technologies, ISO/TC 197 Hydrogen technologies, and ISO/TC 22/SC 41 Road vehicles – Specific aspects for gaseous fuels to facilitate North American technology internationally.

CSA Group also licensed 13 of its standards to ISO/TC 197 to serve as seed documents for international standards and hosted plenary meetings of TC 197 and TC 22/SC 41. In addition, CSA Group manages the ISO/TC 197/SC 1 Hydrogen at scale and horizontal energy systems, and the ISO/TC 265 Carbon Capture, Utilization and Geological Storage.

Finally, CSA Group coordinates efforts for the timely adoption of standards and to increase awareness through continuous dialogue with various Authorities Having Jurisdiction.

Other relevant CSA Group initiatives

With vast potential applications of hydrogen and the interests of multiple stakeholders, CSA Group initiatives require various sectors to work together. That’s why in 2022, CSA Group established the CSA Hydrogen Advisory Group (H2AG). The main goal of the advisory group is to actively monitor hydrogen activities and engage with stakeholders to evaluate and address potential standardization needs.

The H2AG includes participants from various representative categories across the whole hydrogen ecosystem, from production to end use, including leaders from CSA Standards Steering Committees active in areas including Transportation, Fuel and Appliances, Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Natural Resources.

How to engage and learn more

Stakeholders in hydrogen-related areas can learn more and engage with CSA Group initiatives by:

  • staying informed of CSA Group activities via the CSA Hydrogen Community
  • participating directly in the committee work;
  • commenting on draft standard documents released for Public Review; or
  • submitting a proposal for a change of a current standard.

CSA Group always strives to provide up-to-date and accurate information. However, no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made that this information meets your specific needs, and any reliance on this information is at your own risk. Please contact CSA Group for more information about our services.