Air Products has announced it has signed an agreement with an Arnhem-based Dutch company HyGear B.V., for the sales and marketing of HyGear’s mini Steam Methane Reforming Technology into various application areas including hydrogen fuelling stations.

The contract covers a phased deployment of HyGear’s goods by Air Products at customers’ sites.

Large scale steam methane reforming (SMR) of natural gas is the most common method of producing commercial bulk hydrogen in use today and Hygear’s hydrogen generators produce hydrogen from a natural gas stream in a clean and efficient process using a proprietary reactor technology. This will be used for the first time under the Air Products and HyGear agreement at a fuelling station in Toulouse, France, by the end of 2007.

Ian Williamson, business development manager of Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products, commented, “Air Products brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of hydrogen fuel cell projects, having already installed over 70 fuelling stations and been involved in over 33,000 vehicle fuelings in the world. HyGear brings a product which has impressed us with its compactness and initial operational performance.”

Jacques Smolenaars, managing director of Marketing and Sales at Hygear, added, “The collaboration with Air Products is a major initiative for our company. Our joint efforts will create a new approach to provide hydrogen up to fuel cell quality on-site for various applications. We look forward to our collaboration to bring the hydrogen economy closer to us.”