US-based Air Products has signed a co-operation agreement with HyGear that includes the sales and marketing of the Dutch firm's mini-steam methane reforming technology in various application areas, including hydrogen fueling stations.

According to Air Products, HyGear’s technology produces hydrogen from a natural gas stream in a clean and efficient process using a proprietary reactor technology.

As part of the agreement, the technology will be used for the first time at a fueling station in Toulouse, France by the end of 2007. The station is to be built as part of the AltHyTude Project, led by French utility Gaz de France. The contract also covers a phased deployment of HyGear’s products by Air Products at its customers’ sites.

Air Products brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of hydrogen fuel cell projects, having already installed over 70 fueling stations and been involved in over 33,000 vehicle fuelings in the world. HyGear brings a product which has impressed us with its compactness and initial operational performance, said Ian Williamson, business development manager for hydrogen energy systems at Air Products.

Jacques Smolenaars, managing director of marketing and sales at HyGear, added: The collaboration with Air Products is a major initiative for our company. Our joint efforts will create a new approach to provide hydrogen up to fuel cell quality on-site for various applications. We look forward to our collaboration to bring the hydrogen economy closer to us.