Over the course of more than a week, we’ve been looking at my top 10 stories across the industrial gas year – and what a year it has been. Throughout the top 10 we’ve been reflecting on hydrogen, synthetic fuels, ASU growth, medical oxygen milestones, and so much more besides.

Today, it’s down to the top two and a story (or two) that one could be forgiven for overlooking as the year plays out – but is undoubtedly a sign of big things to come for our industry.

That’s because this is all about sustainability and the many guises that will inevitably take for the gases industry. This is a key objective for the industry and those executive leaders within it.

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Source: gasworld

The industrial gases business has become crucially aware not only of its inescapable role in the clean energies transition and decarbonisation, but of its own role in the circle of emissions and its own remit to decarbonise itself. It’s a two-fold challenge that we’ve discussed so many times at gasworld throughout 2021, across our events, webinars and publications, but that we’ve also seen so many examples of in-progress.

And one such story makes my top two for that very reason: for the bigger picture trend that it represents.

Back in July, Air Liquide – through its Belgian energy supply affiliate, Lampiris – signed a 15-year long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with TotalEnergies. The deal is for a total capacity of 15 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind electricity in Belgium.

A sign of what’s to come across the industry in the years ahead, renewable energy will be supplied by TotalEnergies from an offshore wind farm located in the Belgian North Sea to Air Liquide, which will use this energy to power part of its industrial and medical gas production assets in Belgium.

The agreement, which you can read more about here, started on 1st June. In addition to expanding Air Liquide’s offer of low-carbon solutions at competitive prices, the agreement will ensure that up to 270,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be saved over the duration of the contract.

Going Green

It’s a signal of intent, a megatrend in-progress, and for that reason it has to be in my top two stories of the year.

We also saw Air Products announce a renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in Poland much earlier in the year, and similar stories in sustainability would of course follow throughout 2021.

Nippon Gases Italia, part of the Nippon Gases Europe group, announced in October that it would launch a second ‘green’ bulk atmospheric gases (B.A.G.) farm in Caserta, Italy. The new green B.A.G. line will provide various industries including pharmaceutical, medical, food and manufacturing markets with nitrogen, oxygen, and argon produced from 100% renewable sources.

And Linde also revealed in October that as more industrial gas customers begin to take further measures to reduce their carbon footprints, it has launched the Linde Green range, which will provide carbon conscious customers with liquefied gases that have been produced through a zero-emission process. The company will produce a range of ‘green’ liquid gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide (CO2) using recycled CO2 or air extracted as a by-product in the production of bioethanol.

There’s so much more of this to come, and we’re already confirmed to bring you all the insights and everything you need to know about green air gases and this side of sustainability across gasworld webinars, events and publications in 2022.