Air Liquide has been chosen to supply two new hydrogen filling stations in Korea, designed and developed by the group's Advanced Technologies teams.

Access to sustainable mobility is a major issue to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, pollution in cities and to lower the dependency on fossil fuels. Hydrogen, used as an energy vector, is one of the solutions to meeting those challenges.

To that end, Air Liquide has just been chosen to supply two new hydrogen filling stations in Korea, designed and developed by the group's Advanced Technologies teams.
The first station, which will supply hydrogen at a pressure of 350 bars, will be delivered in the first quarter of 2010 for the government demonstration project - led by the automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motors. It will be installed within the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), located on Jeju island.

The KIER, a research and development institute for renewable energy, is one of the beneficiaries of the South Korean government’s national plan to promote the development of hydrogen energy. The filling station will supply the new fuel cell vehicle developed by Hyundai Motors.

To be delivered in the second quarter of 2010, the second station will be provided for the Korea Automobile Testing & Research Institute (KATRI) and will include dual pressure technology developed by Air Liquide for the different types of fuel cell vehicles.

It will be used to fuel a bus at a pressure of 350 bars and various cars at pressures of 350 and 700 bars - the station will be installed close to the KATRI Gyeonggi-do race track, used for testing and research to improve vehicle safety.

François Darchis, Senior Vice President Air Liquide Group and in charge of R&D, Advanced Technologies and Engineering & Construction, commented, “These new installations in Korea are contributing to putting in place all the conditions required for the successful deployment of hydrogen energy in transport by 2015.”

“They illustrate the increasing number of demonstration projects and the development of this energy vector. Air Liquide believes that it is its responsibility, as the world leader, to support the introduction of technological innovations that will help to preserve the environment. Both Energy and the Environment are growth drivers of the Air Liquide Group.”

Growing in numbers
Based on Air Liquide’s patented technologies, the aforementioned hydrogen filling stations enable vehicles to fill up in less than five minutes, in the same conditions as traditional fuels - for a driving range that can reach up to 500km for some vehicles.

Over the last four years, the French company has designed, built and commissioned a growing number of hydrogen filling stations. Forty six Air Liquide stations have been installed throughout the world to date. In Canada, the Vancouver and Montreal airports will install these stations to supply part of their fleet of commercial vehicles.

Another station will supply the largest fleet of hydrogen buses in the world - twenty vehicles - which will be deployed during the next Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile in another hydrogen development for the group, Air Liquide has acquired the Hydrogen Generation Module (HGM) technology from H2Gen Innovations Inc.

H2Gen Innovations Inc. is a designing, manufacturing and marketing company for on-site hydrogen generators and gas purification units based in Alexandria, Virginia, US. The agreement took effect as of 19th November 2009.

The HGM technology is being acquired by two Air Liquide affiliates, notably Air Liquide Process & Construction, Inc., and Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP.

H2Gen’s on-site HGM units are modular steam methane reformers which provide flexible production capability solutions from below 2,000 to over 50,000 standard cubic feet per hour (scfh). The units produce high purity hydrogen for a variety of applications including float glass production, heat treatment of metals, hydrogen energy and photovoltaic processes.

In most of these markets the demand for hydrogen is combined with a need for nitrogen or other specialty gases. In the past few years, H2Gen has seen its HGM activity grow rapidly with numerous units in operation in North America as well as recent commercial successes in Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

Michael Graff, President and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc, explained in a statement, “With the acquisition of H2Gen’s hydrogen generation technology, Air Liquide will provide customers with a comprehensive on-site hydrogen solution.”

“The HGM units offer a clear advantage over alternative technologies in this range and create opportunities to develop competitive combined gas offers for a variety of industries. This acquisition is instrumental in achieving our growth ambitions in the hydrogen merchant market.”