An electrochemically active hydrogen diffusion barrier which comprises an anode layer, a cathode layer, and an intermediate electrolyte layer, which is conductive to protons and substantially impermeable to hydrogen. A catalytic metal present in or adjacent to the anode layer catalyzes an electrochemical reaction that converts any hydrogen that diffuses through the electrolyte layer to protons and electrons. The protons and electrons are transported to the cathode layer and reacted to form hydrogen. The hydrogen diffusion barrier is applied to a polymeric substrate used in a storage tank to store hydrogen under high pressure. A storage tank equipped with the electrochemically active hydrogen diffusion barrier, a method of fabricating the storage tank, and a method of preventing hydrogen from diffusing out of a storage tank are also disclosed.
The United States Government has rights in the following invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-99ID13727 between the United States Department of Energy and Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC.