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Hydrogen puts Air Liquide at the cutting edge of clean energy

With more than 40 years of expertise at every stage in the hydrogen production chain, Air Liquide is actively involved in promoting and developing this clean and renewable source of energy. Pierre-Étienne Franc, Vice President advanced Business & Technologies, Air Liquide, sheds light on this high-potential molecule.

Three questions to Pierre-Étienne Franc, Vice President advanced Business & Technologies, Air Liquide

What are the growth challenges in the hydrogen market?
Hydrogen is one of those solutions that successfully address the challenge of sustainable mobility, which is a prime environmental concern today. The implications are very significant: if 1% of the world’s vehicles were to be fuel cell-powered, the potential hydrogen market would be valued at €15 billion.

What is the Air Liquide strategy in this market?
Air Liquide masters the entire industrial chain, from production to storage, distribution and uses for the end user. Currently, two-thirds of our hydrogen production is used to make sulfur-free fuels. But several markets are emerging. On the high-potential market for fuel cell-powered forklift trucks, the Group is developing a competitive offer in Europe via Hypulsion, the joint venture created with Plug Power (the global leader in fuel cells for forklift trucks). Air Liquide has also succeeded in anticipating the emergence of this technology in the transportation sector by supporting the rollout of distribution infrastructures in Europe, North America and Asia.

What are the future prospects for hydrogen as an energy carrier?
Air Liquide is a major player in this sector. The Group operates a permanent program of research and development projects focused on improving existing technologies, and is a contributor to many international demonstration projects. At the same time, the Blue Hydrogen initiative reflects the Air Liquide commitment to gradually reducing the carbon content of its hydrogen production dedicated to energy applications by using an increasing proportion of energy from renewable sources. As a clean, storable and extremely mobile source of energy, hydrogen offers very promising outlooks to Air Liquide and to other industries as well.

Learn more about hydrogen from the Air Liquide Gas Encyclopedia online and on ipad

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