Air Products benefits from over 50 years of experience in hydrogen. Using this knowledge the firm has been part of an historic event when, last week, Shell officially opened the US’s first ever pipeline-fed hydrogen station.
Air Products' Torrance, California station, a collaborative effort between Air Products, Shell, Toyota, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and United States Department of Energy (DOE), will supply hydrogen for several automobile manufacturers’ fuel cell vehicles in the Los Angeles area.
During a dedication ceremony, David J Taylor, Vice President of Energy Business at Air Products remarked, “This fueling station will be a tremendous model to show how effortless a pipeline supply of hydrogen can be to an automobile fueling station and other hydrogen fuel cell applications. It will add another mode of supply, on potentially a very large scale, to Air Products’ portfolio of distribution technologies in meeting the emerging fueling applications of today.”
He added, “Pipeline distribution of hydrogen offers the lowest delivered and dispensed price for hydrogen supply on a mass scale, and this site will be a model to be able to learn and expand these types of stations as opportunities arise.” Air Products has high hopes for this station, indeed the North American firm expects it to demonstrate the cost-competitiveness of hydrogen delivered in this manner to the gasoline costs of today.
The station, which received project funding assistance from SCAQMD and DOE prior to 2011, is situated on land adjacent to the Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. (TMS) sales and marketing headquarters. It is fed by Air Products’ hydrogen pipeline located less than 50 feet from the station and connected to Air Products’ Wilmington and Carson, California hydrogen production facilities.
The station currently has the requested fueling capacity of 50 kilograms of hydrogen per 12-hour day (or the equivalent of 50 gallons of gasoline per day), has the technical capability to reach 100 kilograms per day, and is expandable.
“Building an extensive hydrogen re-fueling infrastructure is a critical step in the successful market launch of fuel cell vehicles,” said Chris Hostetter, Group Vice President, TMS. “We plan to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market in 2015, or sooner, and the infrastructure must be in place to support our customers’ needs.”