Air Products, the world’s largest producer of hydrogen, announced plans to build a multi-modal hydrogen refueling station near its new net-zero hydrogen energy complex in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The Edmonton complex is under construction and was first announced in June 2021. The hydrogen refueling station will be Air Products’ first in Canada and the first commercial-scale hydrogen refueling station in Alberta. The station plans were announced on April 26, 2023, at the Canadian Hydrogen Convention. “This station is the next step in Air Products’ commitment to Edmonton and the province of Alberta and will serve as a model that can be replicated throughout Canada to grow the hydrogen economy, reduce emissions, and assist Canada on its path to achieving net zero by 2050,” said Eric Guter, Air Products’ Global vice president of hydrogen for mobility. “Canada is well-positioned to be a leader in the clean energy future, and we are proud to build on Air Products’ investment in western Canada to help accelerate the use of hydrogen as an emissions-free transportation fuel across the nation.”
Air Products works across all facets of the hydrogen value chain, including production, distribution, storage, and dispensing and has been investing in hydrogen fueling for decades. The company operates the world’s largest hydrogen pipeline system, located in the US Gulf Coast, and is a major liquid hydrogen supplier. Air Products has hands-on operating experience with more than 250 hydrogen fueling station projects in 20 countries and the company’s technologies are used in more than 1.5 million fueling operations annually.
The hydrogen refueling station is supported in part by US$730,000 in funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program. “Unlocking the potential of hydrogen is an essential part of the federal government’s plan for a sustainable economic future,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of natural resources of Canada. “Not just for the domestic opportunities for emissions reductions but also for hydrogen’s potential as an export opportunity: to provide clean energy to countries around the globe.”
Hydrogen Refueling Station Details
The new station will include two hydrogen refueling lanes with dispensers for heavy-duty vehicles such as commercial and municipal trucks, and Air Products’ own truck fleet. Air Products said the filling time will be on par with conventionally fueled heavy-duty trucks. The station also will have two fueling positions for light-duty hydrogen fuel cell cars. The high-capacity, high-efficiency station is scheduled to open in early 2025 and will be available to retail customers.
Using proprietary compression technology, the station will have a capacity of up to 6.6 tons (6 tonnes) of hydrogen per day. It will be located in Northeast Edmonton near Air Products’ new US$1.18 billion net-zero hydrogen energy complex. The complex will use a process technology that captures at least 90% of carbon emissions for permanent sequestration safely underground. To avoid the indirect emissions associated with using grid electrical power, the project includes a 100% hydrogen-fueled power generation unit. Air Products said the unit is oversized to power the production facility and supply clean power to the Alberta grid.
Making A Net-Zero Hydrogen Facility
The complex will be integrated with neighboring Imperial Oil Limited’s new renewable diesel facility. Imperial will produce renewable diesel from locally sourced non-petroleum feedstocks, using a process that produces a biogenic renewable off-gas (ROG) byproduct. This ROG will be used as a feedstock within the Air Products hydrogen complex, displacing natural gas and further enhancing the overall carbon emissions profile. Air Products said the combination of using a renewable feedstock and power export offsets the remaining 10% needed to achieve net zero at the new hydrogen production facility.
The net-zero facility will connect to Air Products’ existing 34-mile (55-km) pipeline network to help refining and petrochemical customers reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and products. Air Products also announced plans to open a new project delivery office in Edmonton. The Global Engineering and Manufacturing Technology Equipment office will be a cross-functional space including engineering, product, process gas, and air separation unit product line functions. Air Products currently operates three hydrogen production facilities in Alberta, as well as a hydrogen production facility, a 19-mile (30-km) pipeline network, and a liquefaction facility in Sarnia, Ontario.