Air Liquide has announced that NASA has renewed its agreement for requesting the supply of nitrogen and related pipeline launch support services for current and future programs.

Since 1968, the Air Liquide plant has provided personnel, materials, and gaseous nitrogen at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Air Liquide will continue to support various Kennedy Space Center testing and launch programs by supplying high-pressure, high-flow nitrogen produced at its on-site air separation unit. The nitrogen supplied to NASA by Air Liquide is used both daily and during launch sequences.

Roger Perreault, president of Air Liquide Large Industries US, stated, “The United States space program is a driver for innovation. We are proud to continue our 45 year relationship with NASA in support of the agency’s commitment to innovation and exploration.”

Air Liquide’s operations at Cape Canaveral include a 162 tonnes per day air separation unit with a 265 tonnes per day liquefier. Associated pipeline and launch support systems that rely on the gas plants aid NASA, the US Air Force and commercial launch operations that utilize the Kennedy Space Center. Excess gases, such as bulk oxygen and liquid nitrogen, produced by the facility are used to supply a variety of industrial and medical applications in the region, outside of the space program.

Elsewhere, Air Liquide has announced it has joined H2USA, a public-private partnership launched by the US Department of Energy (DOE) focusing on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support the development of new transportation options for US consumers.

Air Liquide is a leading global supplier of hydrogen for a range of applications and industries. Air Liquide owns and operates 200 hydrogen production sites and approximately 1,242 miles of hydrogen pipeline, the world’s largest hydrogen distribution network. As a member of H2USA, Air Liquide will contribute its knowledge and expertise in the field of hydrogen energy, including hydrogen production, distribution and storage technologies and hydrogen refueling infrastructure development.

Mark Lostak, president of Air Liquide Industrial US, commented, “Air Liquide is already playing a leadership role in public-private research and innovation initiatives geared to advance the commercial deployment of hydrogen and fuel cells for clean transport applications, and we are proud to build on these activities as a member of H2USA. Air Liquide and H2USA share a commitment to developing innovative, affordable and environmentally sustainable solutions to enable the widespread adoption of hydrogen energy in the United States.”

Hydrogen energy is a key growth market for Air Liquide, and a key focus area for its sustainable development and innovation programs.

In North America, Air Liquide has significantly expanded its hydrogen energy offer in recent years alongside rising demand for alternative energies. Air Liquide supplies a growing number of customers in the materials handling industry with bulk hydrogen and fueling infrastructure to support fleets of forklifts and pallet jacks powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and supports a number of hydrogen fuel cell buses in North America. Since 2010, Air Liquide has operated the largest fleet of hydrogen-powered buses in the world in Whistler, Canada.

In June 2013, Air Liquide was awarded a $1.5m grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to build a hydrogen fueling station in Anaheim, Calif. The award was granted by the CEC through its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program as part of the state’s initiative to expand the fueling infrastructure for consumer hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The station in Anaheim, slated to open to the public in the fourth quarter of 2014, will be Air Liquide’s first owned and operated hydrogen fueling station for consumer vehicles in the US.