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Hydrogen Energy: Can We help? - An Industrial Perspective


Autore: F. Jackow

Collana: FM - 2004 Sorrento - Third International Symposium - Energy and Environment

Hydrogen as an energy carrier has great potential benefits, however development of an “hydrogen economy” requires to overcome many technological, economical and societal
hurdles. When targeting large scale applications for hydrogen, like the automotives, so many difficulties are identified and such large investments are required that the horizon for implementation is often seen as 20, 30 or 40 years down the road. Such a time frame makes it difficult to mobilize significant resources especially in industries which are reluctant to develop dedicated infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities for such a remote and uncertain market. This is the classical “egg and chicken” syndrome.
A pragmatic approach could be to tackle selected niche markets, with smaller potential but shorter time frame. This is what Air Liquide is trying to do to test the viability of hydrogen as an energy carrier, get industrial experience, decrease costs and get market acceptance. In this approach, some existing technologies and infrastructures of the “industrial” hydrogen supply chain can be used “as is” and Research and Development could be focused on key selected technological hurdles. Technology and industrial roadmaps are presented in this paper,illustrating the contribution of industrial companies like Air Liquide but also partnering with other industrials and academics.

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