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Air Products Compression-Less Hydrogen Fueling Station Game Changer

Last week I talked about ITM Power’s new HFuel portable hydrogen refueling station as potentially being a game changer in regard to quickly and easily rolling out hydrogen infrastructure as needed and where needed.

This week, specialty gas manufacturer Air Products has also announced their spin on a new kind of hydrogen fueling station that could be another game changer as well. The part about the new Air Products H2 pump that is unique and will drive the cost of manufacturing the unit down is that this will be a “compression-less hydrogen fueling station”. Compression of hydrogen as you know takes a lot of energy and an H2 compressor is one of the most expensive parts of a hydrogen fueling station.

According to Air Products, “The key to the cost effective ‘compression-less hydrogen fueling station’ is a composite pressure vessel (CPV) trailer. The CPV trailer is connected directly to the fuel dispensing unit, making the delivery vehicle an integrated part of the fueling station. The proprietary and certified CPVs are an industry advancement and allow for gaseous hydrogen delivery in greater quantities depending on hydrogen demand. The CPV concept transports hydrogen for fueling at well over 350 bar/5,000 psi and, importantly, can be reliably increased at a station for 700 bar/10,000 psi hydrogen vehicles with greater flexibility and at lesser cost through this advancement.”

According to Ed Kiczek, global director of Air Products, “This new, low cost concept is game changing technology. It allows hydrogen fueling to be placed on most existing gasoline forecourts thus potentially eliminating the infrastructure issue. CPV hydrogen delivery becomes more similar to traditional fuels and can mirror the gasoline model. Decreased cost factors including infrastructure, delivery and dispensing of gaseous hydrogen will lower the price tag for hydrogen as an alternative fuel and make it competitive with traditional fuels.”

The price of hydrogen fuel at the pump and consumer acceptance of the new technology will be two key factors driving whether or not the ITM HFUEL system of the one developed by Air Products will succeed. With any luck, both methods will succeed and prosper and we all will benefit.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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One comment

  1. Michael C. Robinson

    What does it cost? Is this cheaper than say laser metal hydrides? I understand that this is a big deal, but why is this a bigger deal than
    getting away from the whole gaseous hydrogen scenario entirely?

    What will it cost comparatively to pump hydrogen gas at low pressure into a
    laser metal hydride verses pumping hydrogen at high pressure into a high pressure tank? If the major cost problem is bringing hydrogen up to 5k or 10k
    psi, why compress hydrogen in the first placel? Is there a rate of absorption issue with laser metal hydrides? How about synthesizing methane and installing reformers on cars? Methane is easier to deliver than hydrogen, especially in bulk. If the carbon source is atmospheric, releasing that carbon via a reformer won’t harm the environment any more than it already has been.
    I don’t know if synthesizing methane is the smartest way to deliver hydrogen
    in bulk, but this is something to consider. If nothing else, there could be a
    generation or two of fuel cell vehicles built around natural gas and reformers.

    For fuel cell vehicles to actually benefit society, they need to disruptively replace vehicles driven by fossil fuels. I understand that a truck trailer containing hydrogen at pressures slightly above 5k PSI can service a
    pump or two at an existing gas station. Realistically, is that disruptive
    enough and will this delivery option scale if millions of FCEVs hit the road?

    A composite trailer that can carry hydrogen at high pressure is exciting, but is this the long awaited revolutionary answer that is needed or not? What’s the
    bottom line on this technology?

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