Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Air Liquide invests in innovative hydrogen storage technology

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Air Liquide announces an equity investment in the Australian company HYDREXIA through its subsidiary ALIAD, which is dedicated to investments in technology startups.

Founded in 2006 and based in Brisbane, Australia, HYDREXIA is a spin-off of the University of Queensland. In seven years, this young and innovative company has developed effective and reliable hydrogen storage technology using a new magnesium alloy in a solid form called “hydride”.

The hydrogen storage in the form of magnesium hydrides is a technology that has been known since 1975, with its industrialisation and commercialisation being slowed down until now because of the high production cost. This new alloy should make it possible for the production of fixed or mobile stocks at a competitive price compared to existing technologies, combined with a higher storage density.

This technology is to be used for industrial hydrogen markets such as glass, steel and chemicals. In concrete terms, Air Liquide could deliver hydrogen stored in the form of hydride to its customers rather than in cylinder or bulk.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and a Member of the Air Liquide Executive

Committee, said, “Storage in the form of magnesium hydride should allow us to offer our industrial customers a particularly innovative solution. Air Liquide has chosen to invest not only in the development of its own technologies but also, notably through ALIAD, in young innovative companies working in closely related fields. Innovation is at the heart of our strategy and allows Air Liquide to strengthen its competitiveness and open new markets.”

Magnesium hydrides are materials that offer storage and transport technology for hydrogen in a reliable low pressure solid form. Careful selection of the composition and microstructure of the metallic hydrides allows for the rapid absorption of hydrogen at moderate temperatures and pressure. Stored hydrogen can be safely released by simply heating the alloy. These unique hydrides make it possible to store and, in a reverse manner, release large quantities of hydrogen and support thousands of cycles.

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