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Air Products to build blue hydrogen complex in Alberta

10 June 2021 Robert Westervelt

Air Products plans to build a C$1.3-billion ($1.1 billion) net-zero "blue" hydrogen plant in Edmonton, Alberta, that is expected to be onstream in 2024, the industrial gas and chemicals giant said.

The project is part of a "multi-billion-dollar" planned investment that will also include carbon capture, hydrogen liquefaction, nitrogen, and oxygen air separation units, and a connection to Air Products' existing Alberta Heartland Hydrogen Pipeline network, the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company said 9 June. Air Products will own 100% of the project.

The hydrogen plant will capture over 95% of the CO2 from the natural gas feedstock used and store it underground. Hydrogen-fueled electricity will offset the remaining 5% of emissions, Air Products said.

The complex will supply refining and petrochemical customers served by the Air Products' Alberta pipeline network, allowing them to reduce carbon intensity. The complex also marks a first in the wider use of hydrogen in Alberta, enabling the production of liquid hydrogen for use as emissions-free transport fuel and to generate clean electricity, it added.

"By being a first mover and investing in this innovative landmark project, we are paving the way for hydrogen from Edmonton to meet industrial and transportation needs throughout western Canada," said Seifi Ghasemi, Air Products CEO. "Our highly integrated project will be a model for net-zero atmospheric gas, hydrogen, and power production."

The project includes a world-scale auto-thermal reformer (ATR) hydrogen production facility, featuring Haldor Topsoe technology, to be built on a large project site in Edmonton that has room for expansion, the company said.

CO2 will be permanently sequestered by leveraging the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, wholly owned and operated by Wolf Carbon Solutions.

Air Products expects new facilities or the retrofit of existing assets will have the potential to generate 1,500 mt/day of hydrogen, with the potential for 3 million mt/year of CO2 capture. The new ATR will have initial capacity to produce roughly 300-400 mt/day, Air Products officials say.

Power generation at the facility will be fueled 100% by hydrogen to produce clean electricity for the entire facility and to export to the grid, offsetting the remaining 5% of CO2 to achieve the net-zero design.

A 30-mt/day hydrogen liquefaction facility will be designed by Air Products, which it said will be the first of such liquid hydrogen operations to provide clean hydrogen to growing industrial and mobility hydrogen markets in Western Canada.

--This article first appeared in Chemical Week Business Daily.


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