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Air Liquide is leading the largest Power to Hydrogen project in Europe

  • Air Liquide
  • Europe

The HyBalance project in Denmark will be the first project in Europe to demonstrate the complete value chain from hydrogen renewable energy production to end users. Hydrogen will be produced by water electrolysis and used for clean transportation, including the existing five hydrogen charging stations operated by Air Liquide and more than 60 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles in circulation. Air Liquide is leading this € 15 million project supported by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and the Danish ForskEL program.

Denmark has been selected for this innovative project as the country has one of the most ambitious renewable energy strategies in Europe, notably with regards to wind power. The storage of the renewable electricity produced by wind turbines in the form of hydrogen will support the grid balancing, showing the potential of hydrogen in the future energy mix.

Air Liquide will operate the hydrogen production plant which is due to start at the end of 2017 and the filling center. The project implements new advanced key technologies for hydrogen production with a 1MW PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Electrolyser provided by the company Hydrogenics and a high pressure supply chain to hydrogen charging stations.

Air Liquide already operates a network of five hydrogen charging stations in Denmark through Copenhagen Hydrogen Network (CHN), a joint venture owned by Air Liquide and H2 Logic. The hydrogen produced will be used for clean transportation and industrial customers, and contribute to Air Liquide’s Blue Hydrogen commitment.

The HyBalance project

With the HyBalance project, Air Liquide, Hydrogenics, LBST, Neas Energy, Hydrogen Valley/CEMTEC and the European Joint Technology Initiative are partnering to build one of Europe’s largest facilities for the production of green hydrogen. The project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 671384. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and France, Germany, Denmark and Belgium. 

Hydrogen a clean energy

Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air to produce electricity while releasing only water. Hydrogen can be produced from diverse sources of energy, including natural gas, but also from many renewable energy sources. This makes hydrogen one of the solutions for the supply of clean energy, while its storage capacity offers a guarantee of supply safety.

Blue Hydrogen

Is an Air Liquide program whose goal is to gradually decarbonize its production of hydrogen dedicated to energy applications. In practical terms, Air Liquide has made a commitment to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary for these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020 by combining:

  • the use of renewable energies, water electrolysis, and biogas reforming,
  • the use of technologies for the capture and upgrading of carbon emitted during the process of producing hydrogen from natural gas.

Even when it is produced from natural gas, hydrogen is a virtuous energy: for equal distance traveled, hydrogen cars allow to reduce GHG emissions by 20% compared with internal combustion vehicles and don’t produce any fine particles.