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Air Products joins AFC Energy’s Power Up project

Industrial gases giant Air Products has become a key strategic partner to AFC Energy in the latter’s Power Up project, where it will provide hydrogen to one of the world’s largest alkaline fuel cell power systems, using surplus hydrogen produced at a major chemical plant.

AFC Energy is leading the €6.1 million (US$8.3 million) Power Up project, funded through the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), to demonstrate large-scale fuel cell power generation.

Air Products will supply the hydrogen to the Power Up project, that will see the installation of one of the world’s largest alkaline fuel cell power plants. The installation will be sited in Stade, northern Germany, where Air Products already operates a major industrial gas processing plant that sources hydrogen from an adjoining chemicals complex operated by Dow Chemicals.

‘Air Products is delighted to become a key strategic partner in such an exciting project, which will demonstrate technical and economical feasibility of power generation from a hydrogen fuel cell at significant scale,’ says Diana Raine, European Business Manager for Hydrogen Energy at Air Products.

Air Products supplied hydrogen for the UK’s first hydrogen-powered ferry, Hydrogenesis, which operated in Bristol Harbour over the last summer.

AFC Energy commenced work on the Power Up project in April, and remains on track to install its first ‘KORE’ system in Germany during 2014. This is expected to become operational in the second half of the year, subject to local permitting.

AFC will initially install two alkaline fuel cell systems in stages, with a total 500 kW electrical output. The first system will be capable of running with 24 cartridges, expected to generate nearly 250 kW when it reaches full power.

Air Products replaces Essex-based Industrial Chemicals Ltd, which had planned to participate in the Power Up project, as announced by AFC Energy in June 2012.

‘The decision to move the project to Air Products provides us with the best possible opportunity to install and operate our KORE-branded fuel cell plant at a world-class industrial chemical/gases complex,’ says Ian Williamson, Chief Executive of AFC Energy. ‘It will also provide us with access and visibility to a significant quantity of clean hydrogen in a fully commercial setting.’

Williamson continues: ‘With our existing long-term project with AkzoNobel continuing at Bitterfeld, Germany, we will soon have two installations in one of the world’s most exciting and strongly government-supported markets for fuel cell energy.’

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells