Air Products turns eco with material handling


Air Products announces hydrogen fuelling technology to be installed at the Florida distribution centre of the United Natural Foods, Inc.
The new, green technology will mechanise 65 fuel cell-powered lift trucks that will be mobilized at the 352,000 square-foot distribution facility. The hydrogen fuelling equipment is targeted to be operational by the end of June 2010 and used within the material handling market.
Mike Doud, Business Development Manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products, stated, “It is exciting and understandable that UNFI has made this conversion decision to hydrogen-powered material handling equipment. Air Products’ portfolio in this market includes multiple installations around the United States fuelling over 300 material handling units.”
Air Products will be responsible for supplying, storing and compressing hydrogen, in addition to managing two indoor hydrogen dispensing units.
UNFI sought this alternative for its environmental benefits. Steven Spinner, UNFI’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We consider environmental stewardship an essential component in every facet of our business. This hydrogen fuel cell project extends our commitment as an environmentally-conscious organisation.”
Similarly, Tom Dziki, UNFI’s Senior Vice President of Sustainable Development, agreed, “Hydrogen fuel cells not only provide greater productivity and lower operating costs, but will be an important component of a clean energy future. Once implemented, this fuel cell project is expected to create annual energy savings of approximately 640,000 kilowatt hours.”

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