Air Liquide has awarded its top inventors in its annual Inventor Recognition Program award ceremony.

The event, which gathered together the company\\$quot;s top inventors from around the world, highlighted the crucial role of patents in protecting Air Liquide\\$quot;s inventions.

This year\\$quot;s first prize was awarded to Bhadra Grover of India who currently works in Air Liquide Engineering in the United States. Grover has used his expertise to develop a new process for eliminating the organic chlorides present as impurities in the hydrogen used by some of Air Liquide\\$quot;s customers. Thanks to this innovation, Air Liquide can purify hydrogen and re-sell it. This process was field-tested and industrialised in 2000, and subsequently adopted by Dow and BASF in the US. Over the past ten years, it has generated revenues to the order of €100m.

Jean-Louis Etienne, doctor and explorer who hosted the ceremony, stated: \\$quot;Living with the discovery of a new invention is like living with an expedition \\$quot;“ it\\$quot;s a great companion, exciting, even obsessive. But the path to discovery is strewn with doubt, failures, and false hopes, and can only be conquered through perseverance and determination.\\$quot;

François Darchis, member of Air Liquide\\$quot;s executive committee, emphasised the strategic importance of inventors\\$quot; work. \\$quot;We firmly believe that innovation stemming from invention is a key growth driver for our group. We are thrilled to see that the number of international patents filed by Air Liquide has doubled in the past 10 years, illustrating our employees\\$quot; creativity and their passion for dreaming up the solutions of tomorrow. Emerging countries, such as South Korea, China, and India, have joined Europe, the US, and Japan in this step forward. I am also pleased that this year\\$quot;s winning innovation relates to hydrogen, because that is another of our company\\$quot;s growth drivers.\\$quot;