Air Products designs self-service hydrogen fueling station

Air Products will install and operate the first 24-hour self-service hydrogen fueling station in Hürth, Germany. The station, based at the Infraserv-Knapsack Chemical Park, will be in regular operation by March 2010, when it will initially supply hydrogen to two buses run by the local council.

The station will allow bus drivers to refuel their vehicles around the clock. For future use, Air Products will design and incorporate the safety systems to allow it to be used more broadly for hydrogen vehicles, 24 hours a day.

‘Our ultimate objective is to make filling up with hydrogen as normal for users as filling up with diesel, petrol or natural gas anywhere else,’ explains Ian Williamson, Director of Hydrogen Energy Systems for Air Products Europe.

The project also represents a first step towards using hydrogen from the chemical industry as a fuel for vehicles. The region offers ideal conditions for developing a hydrogen infrastructure, as seven local industrial plants produce hydrogen as a by-product. Just 8% of the hydrogen by-product generated by the industrial plants could operate more than 500 buses or 40 000 cars full-time.

The Chemergy project aims to enable the hydrogen produced as a by-product in the chemical industry to be used as a fuel. The partners in the Chemergy project are Stadtwerke Hürth (a municipal institution) as the contracting entity, as well as Air Products GmbH, Infraserv GmbH, Knapsack KG, IGH2 – InnovationsGesellschaft Wasserstoff mbH, and Praxair Deutschland GmbH. Organizational responsibility is borne by HyCologne – Wasserstoff Region Rheinland eV.

The Hürth station has been designed as an innovative modular fueling system, which marks a significant step-change that Air Products has taken towards rolling out a hydrogen infrastructure.

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