As the debate and research surrounding the potential replacements for fossil fuels as an energy source intensifies, it is becoming clearer that hydrogen will take on an important, if not decisive, role. A study conducted in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems only recently revealed an urgent need to expand the relevant capacities as quickly as possible, and set out how hydrogen could be produced as a major energy source using electrolysis powered by green electricity. The findings chime with Linde AG's latest decision to expand its largest gas production complex, based in the German town of Leuna, by installing an additional hydrogen liquefier. If everything goes to plan, the system will be commissioned in 2021, thereby doubling the Group's current capacity for producing liquid hydrogen.
The move is being taken in response to the internationally growing demand for hydrogen. After all, there are only three hydrogen liquefaction plants throughout Europe – one of which is located in Leuna, where the new facility is also to be built. "Our new hydrogen liquefier will enable us to offer customers better availability, a wider range and higher standards of product purity," says Jens Waldeck, Head of Region Central Europe at Linde. "In light of the growing use of hydrogen to fuel road and rail transport, the hydrogen liquefier also constitutes a valuable investment in the future." The new liquefier - much like its existing counterpart - will have a capacity of five metric tons a day. The gaseous raw material needed for liquefaction will be transported through a pipeline from the neighboring hydrogen production facilities straight to the two liquefiers. Hydrogen changes its state of aggregation at a temperature of minus 253 degrees Celsius, and is then decanted into LH2 container vehicles at special stations for transportation. A two-fold increase in production capacity will therefore also see Linde’s fleet of special-purpose vehicles grow significantly to ensure the additional hydrogen can be quickly and safely shipped to the customer.
Linde AG (80331 Munich, Germany)