Convenient, cost effective and sustainably-sourced hydrogen infrastructure has become a reality thanks to a 24-hour self service hydrogen fuelling station designed by Air Products.

Air Products will install and operate the first ever 24-hour self service hydrogen fuelling station in Hürth, Germany.

The station, based at the Infraserv-Knapsack Chemical Park, will be in regular operation by March 2010, when it will initially supply hydrogen to two buses run by the local council.

The station will allow bus drivers to refuel their vehicles around the clock and for future use, Air Products will design and incorporate the safety systems to allow it to be used more broadly for hydrogen vehicles, 24 hours a day.

“Our ultimate objective is to make filling up with hydrogen as normal for users as filling up with diesel, petrol or natural gas anywhere else,” explains Ian Williamson, Hydrogen Energy Systems Director of Air Products Europe.

The project also represents a first step towards using hydrogen from the chemical industry as a fuel for vehicles.

The region offers ideal conditions for developing hydrogen infrastructure, as seven local industrial plants produce hydrogen as a by-product.

Just 8% of the hydrogen by-product generated by the industrial plants could operate more than 500 buses or 40,000 cars full time.
The Hürth station has been designed as an innovative modular fuelling system, which marks a significant step change that Air Products has taken towards rolling out a hydrogen infrastructure.

Ian Williamson explains, “Until now, hydrogen fuelling stations have been unique, custom-made installations, which have a high price.”

“We aim, where appropriate, to commence cost-effective series production across all our markets on the basis of the Hürth fuelling system and thereby eliminate one of the main obstacles to a universal roll out of hydrogen infrastructure.”