Air Liquide (EPA:AI) will build an industrial-scale ammonia cracking pilot facility at the Belgian port of Antwerp, the French industrial gases company said on Thursday.
The project, scheduled to become operational in 2024, is aimed at supporting the development of hydrogen as a key facilitator of the energy transition. Ammonia is composed of hydrogen and nitrogen. It can be used to transport hydrogen from regions with abundant renewable energy sources to end users around the world, where it can be converted back to hydrogen and used to decarbonise industry or mobility.
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Air Liquide explained the pilot plant combines a novel efficient process with the company’s proprietary technologies. It will receive funds from the Flemish government, through the VLAIO (Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship).
"Ammonia cracking complements Air Liquide’s already thorough portfolio of hydrogen technologies and adds yet another technological solution to enable the development of a hydrogen global market," said Air Liquide Group executive vice president Michael J. Graff.
Air Liquide plans to invest EUR 8 billion (USD 8.6bn) in the low-carbon hydrogen value chain globally by 2035.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.075)