Air Liquide’s latest world scale hydrogen production unit began operations at the close of September 2009, on the site of ConocoPhillips’ San Francisco refinery in Rodeo, California.

Located on the north eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, the 142,000 Nm3/h steam methane reformer (SMR) is one of the largest hydrogen units in operation in the US.

Owned and operated by Air Liquide Large Industries U.S L.P, the new unit demonstrates the group’s ongoing growth in the evolving energy sector.

Air Liquide continues to grow its hydrogen business in the US to reliably supply refiners with this essential gas used to convert heavy crude oil into diesel, jet fuel and gasoline and to further remove sulphur from these products. These low sulphur transportation fuels meet the most stringent worldwide environmental regulations.

Michael J. Graff, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee and President and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc, reflected on the group’s continuing investment in the hydrogen sector.

He said, “Air Liquide’s hydrogen business in the US has grown in step with market demand to reliably meet the needs of our customers. We continue to build our hydrogen infrastructure in support of the evolving energy sector, a growth driver for Air Liquide.”

Air Liquide has more than doubled its US production capacity of hydrogen in the last five years. With the newly operational unit in production, Air Liquide now runs hydrogen units at 12 sites in the US, notably in California, Washington, Texas and Louisiana - with a total hydrogen capacity in excess of 592,000 Nm3/h.