Biogass reforming and water electrolysis
Air Liquide's technical expertise spans the entire biomethane value chain, and we design, manufacture, and operate biomethane production units that transform biogas from agricultural, household, or industrial waste so that it can be injected in networks. Air Liquide owns and operates 21 biomethane production units installed worldwide.
Biomethane has many applications, it can be used to produce bio-hydrogen, as demonstrated recently with the opening of a public hydrogen station in Offenbach am Main in Germany in partnership with Hyundai.
In order to produce hydrogen with a minimal carbon footprint, one solution consists of separating the water molecule (H2O) by using renewable electricity: and that is where the water electrolysis process comes into play.
PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) technology is particularly interesting for the production of low-carbon hydrogen as its functioning is able to better adapt to the fluctuations in available energy - and therefore to the intermittent nature of renewable energies - than other technologies.
In September 2018 in Hobro, Denmark, Air Liquide inaugurated HyBalance, a pilot site for the production of carbon-free hydrogen. This unit’s specificity is that it uses electrolysis technology which allows it to balance the electricity grid and store surplus electricity in the form of hydrogen that will be used in industry and transportation. This project was initiated in 2016 in a country that is pioneering the energy transition.
Air Liquide invests, constructs and operates in Bécancour, Canada, the world's largest PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyzer as of today. Fully supplied with renewable energy, the new 20 MW PEM electrolyser produces up to 8.2 tonnes per day of low-carbon hydrogen.