Air Products has announced that its hydrogen production facility at ExxonMobil Oil Corporation's Joliet Refinery in Illinois, US is on-stream.

The facility, located adjacent to the refinery, is an integrated steam methane reformer and recovery system processing refinery off-gas. It supplies 18 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of hydrogen, as well as steam for the refinery.

"We are pleased to begin working with ExxonMobil at Joliet, and to have successfully brought on-stream another hydrogen production facility in 2006. Providing refiners with hydrogen is one of our key growth businesses. Our ability to work with refiners and meet their high reliability needs is one of Air Products' strengths, and has led to long-term customer relationships," said Jeff Byrne, Air Products' vice president and general manager, Refining and Process Industries. The Joliet supply arrangement is one of over 30 that the company has undertaken with worldwide refiners in the past 15 years.

Projects and plans
This project is the fifth North American hydrogen facility brought on-stream in the past year by Air Products and the third in the U.S., including others at Baytown, Texas and Convent, Louisiana. Air Products also placed on-stream the largest outsourced hydrogen production facilities in Canada near Edmonton, Alberta and in Sarnia, Ontario. Additionally, in 2006, the company will bring on-stream another U.S. facility in Port Arthur, Texas. In 2006 Air Products will have increased hydrogen production capacity by over 450 MMSCFD.

The company announced plans early this year for a second Edmonton, Alberta facility to come on-stream in 2008 and produce 105 MMSCFD as the first merchant plant in Canada to provide a sale of hydrogen for use in the upgrading of Canadian oil sands.