The hydrogen and
fuel cell center


Dr. Christian Spitta

Dr.-Ing. Christian Spitta

head of
Department hydrogen infrastructure

phone: +49-203-7598-4277

Hy-Lab – Hydrogen quality laboratory

In terms of gas analysing ZBT has a more than 15 years experience: The quality of hydrogen as fuel is defined in the international standards ISO 14687-2:2012 and EN 17124:2018. In these standards a broad list of impurities is defined with threshold values down to the ppb-level. Only a few independent laboratories worldwide are capable of measuring hydrogen in accordance to these standards.

Within the German Hy-Lab project, which is coordinated by ZBT, ZBT has built up a hydrogen quality laboratory and developed analytical methods with the capability to analyse the hydrogen quality according to these international standards. For calibration purpose a mass-flow-controller and a gas mixing pump based gas dilution system and methods for sample preparation and sample transfer have been developed.

With the analytical methods developed, ZBT is able to determine hydrogen quality according to EN 17124:2022. Furthermore, with the Hy-SaM, a CE-certified system for sampling at hydrogen filling stations was developed.

In several national and international projects, the Hy-Lab of the ZBT could establish itself as European Hydrogen Quality Laboratory and demonstrate its capacities in various interlaboratory tests (in R&D projects and for customers, such as Toyota). In addition, the ZBT is a reliable long-term partner for gas analyses of sulfur, natural gas and NH3, among others. For the conversion of the natural gas network and here in particular the transport lines to a hydrogen network, different methods for purification are developed. The validation is again carried out in the Hy-Lab.


  • Hydrogen analysis according to EN 17124:2022
  • Hydrogen sampling at HRS and other parts of the supply chain
  • Analysis of sulphur species, Natural gas, Ammonia etc.
  • Development, testing and qualification of analytic and sampling methods, method validation, online sensors, gas cleanup
  • FC impurity investigation and material qualification
  • Consultancy for analytic and sampling methods and laboratory set-up

Specifications Hy-Lab

  • Analytic methods for hydrogen quality analysis according to EN 17124:2022
  • Method for sampling (Hy-SaM) at

    • 70 MPa Light Duty HRS
    • 35 MPa Heavy Duty HRS

  • Method validation according to ISO 21087 ongoing
  • Successful participation in several inter laboratory comparisons
  • 4 test stands integrated for fuel cell impurity investigations and material qualification



ZBT's analytical laboratory for verification of H2 quality according to ISO 14687-2:2012
Hy-SaM - a new system for sampling at hydrogen refueling stations
learn more about Hy-Lab

HYDRAITE (2018-2021, EU H2020)

Further development of the analysis methods of the Hy-Lab, fuel cell contamination tests, investigation of regeneration strategies, analysis of contamination caused by maintenance work at hydrogen filling stations, test campaigns at filling stations and comparative measurements
learn more about HYDRAITE

H2Fuel (2019-2024, BMDV)

Pre-normative research to adapt the ISO standard for hydrogen dispensing quality at refueling stations, study the impact of several pollutant species on modern fuel cell systems
learn more about H2Fuel

MetroHyVe2 (2020-2023, EU EMPIR)

Development of a metrological framework for testing hydrogen quantity measurements, development of reference materials (RMs) suitable for monitoring the performance of hydrogen quality laboratories, comparison and validation of sampling equipment and procedures, interlaboratory testing of numerous synthetic samples to improve the quality of testing laboratories and establish criteria of comparability.
learn more about MetroHyVe2

H2-Cleanup (2021-2024, EFRE NRW)

Investigation of different metal hydride-based materials for their potential to remove impurities from hydrogen, determination of retention qualities and loading capacities.
learn more about H2-Cleanup

RingWaBe (2023-2025, BMDV)

The validation of hydrogen quality laboratories (including the Hy-Lab of the ZBT) according to ISO 21087 as well as the development of reference standards are the focus of RingWaBe.
learn more about RingWaBe

LeBChi (2023-2025, BMDV)

The goals of LeBChi are to gain knowledge about hydrogen and air quality in China and the impact on fuel cell or BoP component operation.
learn more about LeBChi

HQE (2023-2025, EU)

As part of an international consortium, 300 samples will be taken from European HRSs and gas analyses will be carried out to establish a data basis for a risk assessment for the quality management of HRSs.
learn more about HQE

MetHyTrucks (2023-2026, EU EMPIR)

In this project, necessary adaptations of the hydrogen sampling systems for heavy-duty applications will be elaborated and the methods used will be reviewed and validated.
learn more about MetHyTrucks

A look into the Hy-Lab (2020)
Hydrogen sampling Module
A laboratory at ZBT.

Analytical methods available at ZBT for hydrogen fuel quality analysis.

Impurity ISO 14687:2019
EN 17124:2022
Analytical Method Quantification Limit (LoQ)
Water 5 QCM 0.5
Total Hydrocarbons 2 GC-PED 0.5
Methane 100 GC-PED 0.5
Oxygen 5 GC-PED 1,25
Helium 300 EI-MS 75
Argon 300 GC-PED 75
Nitrogen 300 GC-PED 75
Carbon Dioxide 2 IMR-MS 0.5
Carbon Monoxide 0.2 GC-PED 0.05
Total sulphur compounds 0.004 TD-GC-SCD 0.001
Formaldehyde 0.2 IMR-MS 0.05
Formic Acid 0.2 IMR-MS 0.05
Ammonia 0.1 IMR-MS 0.025
Halogenated compounds 0.05 IMR-MS 0.0125

Hy-SaM – Hydrogen sampling Module

  • CE certification
  • Sampling according to ISO 19880-1 & SAE J2601
  • No override of fueling protocol
  • No COM interface, no usage of electronics
  • Coated parts and cylinders
  • Multiple sampling (up to three in parallel)
  • 2,25 or 10 l sampling cylinders
  • Optional combination with particulates sampling device

ZBT is closely cooperating with the Clean energy partnership (CEP) as external partner and the German H2 Mobility. Several sampling campaigns at HRS have been performed.

In addition to these German activities, ZBT has established a European network and is involved in several EU projects. Within Hydraite ZBT will be established as European hydrogen quality laboratory. Furthermore, in the EU project MetroHyVe2 and MetHyTrucks methodological investigations for hydrogen metering, analysis, sampling and online analysis are being undertaken.

Last update:  26.03.2024