Air Liquide Commissions Cavernous Hydrogen Storage Facility

Air Liquide has commissioned a new hydrogen storage facility housed some 1,500 meters deep in a Texas cavern. The 70-meters in diameter installation is capable of holding enough hydrogen to back up a large-scale steam methane reformer unit for 30 days, according to the company, and will offer hydrogen supply solutions to customers through Air Liquide’s Gulf Coast pipeline system.

“Air Liquide’s investment in the world’s largest hydrogen storage cavern is supported by the strength of the refining and petrochemicals markets along the US Gulf Coast and the rising demand for hydrogen,” says Michael Graff, a member of Air Liquide Group’s executive committee and executive VP for the Americas. “This unique facility positions us to deliver even greater value to customers through innovative solutions.”

Air Liquide commissioned its first pure helium storage facility in Germany in July 2016. Industrial companies use hydrogen in the refining process to desulfurize fuels and in many other industrial and manufacturing processes. Engineers also use it for clean energy, powering zero-emission fuel cell vehicles or can be stored and used to help manage electric grid demand. Suppliers typically reform it from natural gas—since it is present in small quantities in the air—and often build large, interconnected storage solutions to optimize supply.