On the Path to the Hydrogen Economy


The hurdles to making hydrogen a commercially viable energy source are not unlike those encountered when electricity, oil, or natural gas were introduced. The transmission and use of power requires infrastructure and technology specific to the fuel source — electricity requires power lines, natural gas requires underground piping, and home heating oil is delivered by truck to specially designed tanks.

Each power source has its own unique technology and supply chain; and hydrogen is no exception. Today, the public tends to focus on hydrogen cars as a solution to cleaner vehicular power, but its associated technology and infrastructure challenges are still being addressed. Hydrogen, however, is being used as an energy source in many viable hydrogen energy deployments around the world, most notably in the material handling sector.

Air Products (www.airproducts.com), a leader in the supply of refinery hydrogen, is also a leader in the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier for alternative fuels. The Company has placed over 110 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 18 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines, have been fueled with Air Products’ trend-setting technology. Air Products has numerous individual applications for hydrogen as an alternative energy source, operating a rate of 10,000 to 30,000 fuelings per year. This market experience has advanced product improvements at Air Products that are moving the hydrogen economy forward. Use of the Company’s technology is increasing, currently providing over 175,000 hydrogen fills per year across all applications and growing.

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