Air Liquide has inaugurated Cryocap™, a unique industrial installation that enables the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) released during hydrogen production via a cryogenic process.
Connected to Air Liquide’s largest hydrogen production unit in France, located in Port-Jérôme, Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon (Normandy), Cryocap™ represents an investment of around €30m decided by the group in 2012
The project received an additional public financial support of close to €9m.
Developed jointly by Air Liquide R&D and Engineering & Construction teams, Cryocap™ is being rolled out for the first time in Port-Jérôme, on the SMR (Steam Methane Reformer) of Air Liquide, which produces hydrogen for the neighbouring refinery, Esso Raffinage SAF (ExxonMobil group).
It is regarded as the first CO2 capture technology using a cryogenic process*.
François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising Innovation, commented, “We take particular pride in rolling out for the first time in France Cryocap™, a technology which illustrates Air Liquide’s ability to innovate for environmental preservation. Cryocap™ contributes to decarbonised hydrogen mobility for the hydrogen-powered electric vehicles on the market.”
Cryocap™ enables the capture of CO2 emissions resulting from the production of hydrogen by natural gas reforming, while improving efficiency, leading to an increased hydrogen production.
After being purified, the captured CO2 can be used to meet a variety of industrial needs for carbonic gas supply (carbonation of sparkling beverages, food preservation and freezing, etc.). The Cryocap™ unit has an annual capture capacity of 100 000 tonnes of CO2 at this site.
This innovation is part of Air Liquide’s broader Blue Hydrogen approach, whose goal is the gradual decarbonisation of the group’s production of hydrogen dedicated to energy applications, opening the way for 100% clean mobility.
*A process with no chemical components that uses low temperatures to compress, liquefy and then separate gases at the heart of the SMR process. Cryocap™ captures emitted CO2 and vaporises residual hydrogen.