Air Liquide has today (26th Jan) said that construction of what it believes to be the world’s largest proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser is complete, and the unit is producing up to 8.2 tonnes per day of low-carbon hydrogen in Bécancour, Québec.

Commissioning of the electrolyser unit, equipped with Cummins technology, increases the capacity of the industrial gas giant’s Bécancour hydrogen production complex by 50%, and helps meet the growing demand for low-carbon hydrogen in North America, for both industrial use and mobility uses.

When compared to traditional hydrogen production processes the new unit will avoid approximately 27,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of 10,000 cars per year. 

Susan Ellerbusch, CEO, Air Liquide North America and Group Executive Committee Member, commented, “The fight against climate change is at the heart of the Air Liquide Group’s strategy. The inauguration of the Bécancour site in Canada marks an important step in the implementation of this strategy.”

“With this world’s first, Air Liquide confirms its commitment to the production of low-carbon hydrogen on an industrial scale and its ability to effectively deploy the related technological solutions. Hydrogen will play a key role in the energy transition and the emergence of a low-carbon society.”

The choice of Bécancour is based on two attributes of the site: the access to abundant renewable power from Hydro-Québec and the proximity to the hydrogen mobility market in the northeast of the continent.