Hydrogen expert for more than 60 years and precursor of the movement for a hydrogen society
As a pioneer in hydrogen, Air Liquide is convinced that this molecule will be decisive in the energy transition. The Group is responding to the urgency of climate change and is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Hydrogen will be key to achieving this goal by making it possible to meet two major challenges to which Air Liquide is committed: decarbonizing heavy industry and revolutionizing clean mobility.
A strong commitment to produce renewable or low-carbon hydrogen
Mastering the entire hydrogen value chain
Technologies and know-how for multiple applications in industry and mobility
Hydrogen, at the heart of Air Liquide's activities
Thanks to its unique hydrogen expertise developed in industry (space, aeronautics, refining) over the last 60 years, Air Liquide masters the entire value chain: production, transport, storage and distribution.
This unique positioning and technological expertise, particularly in extreme cryogenics, makes Air Liquide a key player in the implementation of hydrogen projects, enabling it to meet all the needs of its customers in many sectors of activity.
Hydrogen has many uses. As a high density energy carrier, non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-polluting, hydrogen can be used in fuel cells to generate heat and electricity. It is also a useful raw material for many industrial sectors. It can be stored on a large scale and transported in liquid or gaseous form.
€8 bn invested in the entire low-carbon hydrogen value chain by 2035
3 GW of electrolysis capacity invested by 2030
A major lever for the decarbonization of industry
Through its Large Industries business line, Air Liquide already serves customers in the world's main industrial basins. This proximity, combined with our expertise and technologies, allows us to develop synergies between the industrial and mobility markets, to ensure the availability of hydrogen in large quantities.
Hydrogen can be used in many industrial sectors that are challenging to decarbonize, for its energy potential or as a raw material:
- Refining, to desulfurize hydrocarbons
- Chemistry, to produce methanol and synthetic fuels
- Metallurgy, for heat treatment
But also in Electronics, as a carrier gas, research and analysis, welding, cement production, glassmaking...
Since 2019, Air Liquide and thyssenkrupp Steel, the world leader in flat rolled carbon steel, have been collaborating on an innovative project to produce low carbon steel. Hydrogen is injected on a large scale to partially replace the coal sprayed in the blast furnace during steel production.
In 2021, Air Liquide and ArcelorMittal announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to implement solutions for low-carbon steel production in Dunkirk (France). The two companies are joining forces to transform the steel production process through the development of innovative solutions involving the use of low-carbon hydrogen and CO2 capture technologies.
Revolutionizing the transportation sector with hydrogen
When derived from renewable energies or low-carbon, hydrogen is a leading alternative energy source for decarbonizing transportation. Air Liquide draws on its industrial facilities, technologies and expertise to develop applications for hydrogen mobility. In 20 years, Air Liquide has installed more than 200 hydrogen stations around the world.
Having proved its worth in the space sector, hydrogen in its liquid state offers significant advantages for heavy mobility (trucks, ships, aircraft). Its energy density facilitates on-board storage, rapid refuelling and long range. Liquid hydrogen makes it possible to massify production and optimize the supply chain (a 3.6-tonne truckload of liquid hydrogen is equivalent to 16 truckloads of gaseous hydrogen at 200 bar). The Group has installed a liquefier with a capacity of 30 tonnes per day in North Las Vegas (Nevada), which supplies hydrogen mobility in California.
Air Liquide is strongly committed to deploying large-scale projects and forming strategic alliances to accelerate the transition of heavy transport to hydrogen.
Air Liquide and TotalEnergies have announced their intention to deploy more than 100 hydrogen stations on major European roads - in France, Benelux and Germany - in the coming years. These stations will be mainly dedicated to heavy duty vehicles, thus contributing to the decarbonization of road transportation in Europe.
In June 2023, Air Liquide and Iveco Group inaugurated Europe's first high-pressure station for heavy duty trucks. Located in Fos-sur-Mer and with a capacity of one tonne per day, it will help to decarbonize freight transport in the South of France.
In June 2023, Air Liquide and Groupe ADP launched Hydrogen Airport, the first engineering and consulting joint venture specializing in supporting airports in their projects to integrate hydrogen into their infrastructure. This partnership reflects the two groups' shared ambition to prepare for the deployment of decarbonized global aviation, as the sector has announced a net-zero target for 2050.
The H2FLY company has worked in close relationship with Air Liquide to develop its HY4 liquid hydrogen electric aircraft. In September 2023, it flew for more than 3 hours in the skies over Slovenia. This world’s first is meant to be duplicated, scaled up and will be shared within the aviation industry to accelerate the advent of hydrogen aviation.
In May 2023, Future Proof Shipping launched the first hydrogen-powered river vessel. "H2 barge 1" transports goods between the Netherlands and Belgium. Air Liquide supplies the hydrogen and has developed an innovative on-board storage technology with interchangeable containers.
Hydrogen is also a relevant solution for decarbonizing captive fleets. This is the case in the Paris region with HysetCo which manages stations and operates several hundred hydrogen cars in order to offer integrated solutions to professionals (cabs, VTC, craftsmen). HysetCo's shareholding include Air Liquide, Toyota France and Kouros.
Air Liquide has installed more than 200 hydrogen stations around the world. The largest hydrogen station in the world was inaugurated in Daxing (China) in 2021. It is equipped with Air Liquide technology and can deliver nearly 5 tonnes per day.
Producing low-carbon hydrogen
A major priority for Air Liquide is to scale-up its low-carbon and renewable hydrogen production capacity in order to respond effectively and sustainably to the needs of industrial and heavy transportation customers who, like us, are committed to the energy transition.
Our technologies and our capacity for innovation enable us to offer, depending on market needs, renewable or low-carbon hydrogen produced
- By electrolysis with electricity generated from renewable sources (solar, wind, hydro) or low-carbon sources (nuclear)
- By methane or biomethane reforming with CO2 capture and storage
Thanks to electrolysis, renewable energies - intermittent by nature - can be converted into hydrogen. As the molecule can be stored and transported so that it can be accessed at any time, hydrogen is a way of not losing the renewable energy produced during peak production periods.
Since 2021, Air Liquide has been operating a 20 MW PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyzer in Bécancour (Canada). With a production capacity of 8.2 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per day, this installation is helping to meet the growing demand for low-carbon hydrogen in North America, for both industry and mobility.
In partnership with Siemens Energy, Air Liquide is building a 20 MW electrolyser in Oberhausen (Germany), which will enter service in 2023. The renewable hydrogen produced by this unit will be injected directly into Air Liquide's pipeline network for delivery to industrial customers and mobility players in the Ruhr region.
In Port-Jérôme (France), the Air Liquide Normand'Hy project involves the installation of a 200 MW electrolyzer for the large-scale production of renewable hydrogen. This strategic investment will support the development of a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem in the Normandy industrial basin. The site is scheduled for commissioning in 2025.
CurtHyl and ELYgator are two 200 MW electrolyser projects due to come on stream in Rotterdam and Terneuzen (Netherlands) in 2026 and 2027 respectively. They will be powered entirely by renewable energy sources (wind power in particular), and the hydrogen produced will be injected into the pipeline network operated by the Group.
The Hydrogen Council
Launched in 2017 in Davos under the impetus of Air Liquide and Toyota, the Hydrogen Council is a global initiative designed to bring the voice of hydrogen to the international stage in order to promote a long-term vision of hydrogen technologies and uses, and to accelerate its large-scale deployment by mobilizing all the players in the ecosystem, both industrial and political. As such, it has published several studies on the subject.
Today, the Hydrogen Council brings together nearly 150 members - companies from the energy, transport and industry sectors as well as financial players - all determined to contribute to limiting global warming to 1.5°C.