The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by carbon emission concerns, energy transition, and energy security aspects, and growing importance of technologies such as carbon capture, low-carbon hydrogen production, and energy storage. In the last three years alone, there have been over 523,000 patents filed and granted in the oil & gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Hydrogen in oil & gas: liquified hydrogen storage. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 196,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the oil & gas industry, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Liquified hydrogen storage is a key innovation area in hydrogen

Liquefied hydrogen storage involves the physical storage of compressed or liquefied hydrogen, which is used to fuel hydrogen-based technologies, such as fuel cells or hydrogen-powered vehicles. Liquefied hydrogen storage in the form of tankers can also be used for long haul transportation of the fuel from the production site towards its demand centers.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 210+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of liquified hydrogen storage.

Key players in liquified hydrogen storage – a disruptive innovation in the oil & gas industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to liquified hydrogen storage

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor 831 Unlock Company Profile
Air Liquide 589 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 295 Unlock Company Profile
Hexagon Composites 211 Unlock Company Profile
Linde 168 Unlock Company Profile
Air Products and Chemicals 164 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors 145 Unlock Company Profile
Kobe Steel 145 Unlock Company Profile
Bayerische Motoren Werke 132 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor 120 Unlock Company Profile
Parkland 103 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 100 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 85 Unlock Company Profile
TATSUNO 78 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 78 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 71 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 55 Unlock Company Profile
ENEOS 54 Unlock Company Profile
Burelle 53 Unlock Company Profile
Faurecia 48 Unlock Company Profile
NPROXX BV 46 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum Fuel Systems 42 Unlock Company Profile
Emerson Electric 40 Unlock Company Profile
Nel 34 Unlock Company Profile
Magna International 33 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt 31 Unlock Company Profile
Worthington Industries 30 Unlock Company Profile
Airbus 28 Unlock Company Profile
Lotte Chemical 25 Unlock Company Profile
Shinwa Controls 24 Unlock Company Profile
REHAU Automotive 24 Unlock Company Profile
The Japan Steel Works 23 Unlock Company Profile
China Energy Investment 22 Unlock Company Profile
Textron 22 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie Generale des Etablissements Michelin 21 Unlock Company Profile
Toyoda Gosei 21 Unlock Company Profile
Alternative Fuel Containers 20 Unlock Company Profile
Linamar 20 Unlock Company Profile
CLEAN PLANET ENTERPRISES 20 Unlock Company Profile
Raytheon Technologies 20 Unlock Company Profile
Sazaby League 19 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 17 Unlock Company Profile
KITZ 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hanwha 16 Unlock Company Profile
Steelhead Composites 16 Unlock Company Profile
Argo 16 Unlock Company Profile
Solvay 16 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi Plant Mechanics 15 Unlock Company Profile
NACCO Materials Handling Group 15 Unlock Company Profile
Meditor European Master Fund 14 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota Motor is one of the leading patent filers in liquified hydrogen storage. It is a leading automobile manufacturer, which also produces hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in light motor vehicle category. It has made significant research and development (R&D) in liquid hydrogen storage technologies. In May 2023, the company demonstrated a liquid hydrogen-powered concept car, in a 24-hour race held in Japan. Some other key patent filers in the space include Air Liquide, Honda Motor, and Hexagon.

In terms of application diversity, KITZ leads the pack, while Alternative Fuel Containers and Textron stood in the second and third positions, respectively. As a leading valves manufacturer in the world, KITZ develops valves for hydrogen production, storage, transportation, and utilization. It uses its proprietary fluid control technology and cryogenic technology to develops equipment for hydrogen economy.

By means of geographic reach, Emerson held the top position, followed by Alternative Fuel Containers and Clean Planet Enterprises. Emerson has a geographically wide-ranging patent portfolio for liquid hydrogen storage. Its product portfolio covers production and distribution aspects of the hydrogen value chain. Its Micro Motion ELITE Ultra Cryogenic Coriolis flow meter product offering helps in the operation of cryogenic fuel stations for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Liquified storage of gases permits use of lesser space to store the gases. Liquefied hydrogen storage allows compact storage as well as helps in transportation.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Hydrogen in Oil and Gas.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.