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Contributing to sustainability

Performance and responsibility at the heart of our ambition

Foster clean mobility

Air Liquide works on all hydrogen production and distribution processes, from desulfurizing hydrocarbons in refineries to accompanying the deployment of hydrogen energy.

Sulfur removal from hydrocarbons

The most important current use of hydrogen (nearly ⅔rd of the quantity sold by Air Liquide) is the desulfurization of hydrocarbons to produce sulfur-free fuels.

In 2015, the hydrogen supplied by Air Liquide to refineries avoided discharging 1.2 million tons of sulfur oxides into the atmosphere which is nearly four times as much as the total
sulfur oxide emissions of a country like France.

Sulfur oxides can cause respiratory problems in humans. Not only are they responsible for the emergence of urban smog but also for acid rains, which cause deforestation and the acidification of water. Moreover, sulfur quickly deteriorates the performance of catalytic converters of vehicles.

Hydrogen, clean energy

Hydrogen is one of the solutions that offer a response to the challenges of clean transportation: reducing greenhouse gases, pollution in our cities and dependency on oil-based fuels.

Used in the fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air to produce electricity, with water as the only by-product. Hydrogen can be produced from renewable energy sources. Hydrogen thus has great potential to provide clean energy and be an alternative to fossil fuels.

Hydrogen energy is a fast-growing field of which the Group masters the entire industrial chain (from production and storage to distribution and uses for the end user) and is also actively involved in setting up this industry.

Blue Hydrogen, Air Liquide's Commitment
Blue Hydrogen, Air Liquide's Commitment.

The Blue Hydrogen initiative

Blue Hydrogen is an Air Liquide initiative that aims to gradually lower the carbon content of its hydrogen production dedicated to energy applications. 95% of the hydrogen that the Group produces is currently from natural gas.

Air Liquide is committing to increasing by 2020 the percentage of hydrogen produced for these applications from carbon-free processes, i.e. sources that emit no CO2. The Group’s objective is to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen required by hydrogen energy applications from carbon-free energy sources, by combining:

  • the reforming of biogas
  • the use of renewable energies in water electrolysis
  • the technologies to capture and re-use carbon from the CO2 emitted during the production of hydrogen from natural gas