Air Products has announced plans to build a second liquid hydrogen production facility in the US state of California.

Air Products

Image: Hydrogen SmartFuel(R) dispenser. Photo: Courtesy of Ian Lee (ICL Media)/ Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

As per Air Products, the new production facility can help in meeting the increasing demand for hydrogen from several markets including the growing fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV) in the state.

Project development work is already taking place and the facility is anticipated to begin operations in the first quarter of 2021.

This is the second liquid hydrogen plant that Air Products plans to build in the US. Last September, the company announced its plans to build a new liquid hydrogen plant at its La Porte, Texas. This plant will be supplied hydrogen from the company’s extensive Gulf Coast pipeline network. The La Porte project could also come online in 2021.

Presently, Air Products has liquid hydrogen production assets operating in New Orleans, Louisiana and Sacramento, California in the US; Sarnia, Ontario, Canada; and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

This liquified hydrogen will be delivered in trailers to customers in industries including: electronics, chemical and petrochemical, metals, material handling, float glass, edible fats and oils and utilities, along with hydrogen fueling stations, where it is re-gasified for fueling hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles.

Air Products Americas president Marie Ffolkes said: “Current customer demand for liquid hydrogen is driving the need for this new investment as we are experiencing growth from many traditional market segments, for which a reliable source of this product is vitally important. Additionally, this new capacity will be available for the steadily increasing demand from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

The company also claims that it has doubled the size of its Wilmington hydrogen transfill system and has commissioned new hydrogen transfill systems in Long Beach and Santa Clara for vehicle fueling.

It also claims to have increased the number of dual-phase trailers, which can transport and off-load hydrogen to fueling stations, transfill stations or customer supply tank.

Last November, the company agreed to acquire gasification business from General Electric (GE). This transaction, Air Products, says will expand its synthesis gas (syngas) solutions product offering and will help in build, own and operate gasification projects.

The business acquired included GE’s share in a 50/50 joint venture with China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Company.