Innovating the Hydrogen Value Chain

Think Hydrogen. Think Linde.
Linde covers every link in the hydrogen value chain – from source to service. We have the technologies and expertise to support your hydrogen project every step of the way.

Proven, Long-Standing Expertise

Linde is the only company to cover every step in the hydrogen value chain from production and processing through distribution and storage to everyday industrial and consumer applications. Building on decades of research and countless real-world projects, Linde’s hydrogen capabilities demonstrate its innovative power and proven expertise in delivering workable, economically viable hydrogen technologies suited to mass deployment.

Growing Application Spectrum

Demand for hydrogen technologies is rising. It has the potential to accelerate the transition to more sustainable forms of energy while still supporting current energy models with all their regional variations.

Hydrogen is a zero-emissions source of fuel for trains, buses and cars. It can be used as a feedstock gas for industries such as chemicals, refining and steel. In addition, it is a source of heat and power for buildings and can buffer energy generated from renewable sources.

Moving Towards a Greener Energy Economy

Hydrogen can be generated from natural gas and other non-renewable by-products. In addition, it can be used as an energy vector; in other words, a medium to store energy from renewable and other sources. Looking to the future, it can be generated at scale with a zero-carbon footprint by using renewable energy such as solar or wind power, for instance, to split water (electrolysis).

H2 value chain: production

The Many Paths to Hydrogen

Steam reforming is the main method used to produce hydrogen on an industrial scale today. In an initial step, feedstocks such as natural gas, LPG or naphtha are combined with steam to produce synthesis gas with the aid of a heterogeneous catalyst. This mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen is then further processed. Since fossil fuels are used in this production method, the end product is called gray hydrogen. Gray hydrogen can also be produced through the partial oxidation of refinery residues. This residue material is heated to a very high temperature with oxygen and steam to produce a raw synthesis gas. If the carbon dioxide contained in this gas is removed in a downstream carbon capture process, the resulting hydrogen is called blue hydrogen. Green hydrogen is obtained either by steam reforming, if bio-based feedstock is available, or by splitting water by electrolysis. The electricity needed for this electrolysis process is generated exclusively from renewable sources.

H2 value chain: processing

The Right Processing Technologies

Steam reforming initially produces synthesis gas - a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. We offer cryogenic processes (condensation or methane scrubbing) to separate these two gases post CO2 removal. Pressure swing adsorption plants are used to obtain H2 from hydrogen-rich synthesis gases or refinery and petrochemical gases. We have also developed an alternative hybrid process where we combine membrane and pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technologies for new-found levels of flexibility and efficiency in the production of H2. The PSA system can also be used to remove or recover carbon dioxide from process gas streams at synthesis gas plants. CO2 can also be recovered from the flue gas of hydrogen plants by Post Combustion Capture (PCC). RECTISOL® wash is a physical acid gas process for segregated removal of sulfur and CO2 from the synthesis gas at subzero temperatures. The use of low-energy coil-wound heat exchangers makes this a particularly economical gas purification method. Where needed, the captured CO2 can be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or fed into a purification or liquefaction plant to enable further use cases. Linde can also offer synthesis plants for the production of ammonia (NH3) or methanol (CH3OH) by converting the produced hydrogen and nitrogen, or syngas stream. These products may be called green ammonia or green methanol if green hydrogen is utilized as a feedstock. Cryogenic plants are used to liquefy hydrogen so it can be transported and stored efficiently. They cool the volatile gas down to minus 253 degrees Celsius to create liquefied hydrogen (LH2). This process increases the density of the gas. In addition, we offer turbocompressors for hydrogen and LH2 pumps. We supply this equipment as part of integrated offerings for our customers’ hydrogen projects.

H2 value chain: distribution and storage

Transporting Hydrogen to the Point of Use

A pipeline network is probably the best option if multiple customers on an industrial site require hydrogen. Several production facilities can feed H2 into the network and it, in turn, can supply the gas to multiple customers at different locations. Cryogenic tanks can be provided to store the hydrogen if it is not going to be used directly. The liquid hydrogen (LH2) is efficiently stored in vacuum-insulated tanks which can be installed either vertically or horizontally. Different capacities are available, ranging from 3,000 liters to over 100,000 liters. We also offer our customers transportable LH2 containers with active cooling. This guarantees extended storage windows combined with maximum safety. For bulk storage of gaseous hydrogen, underground salt caverns are an option. The gas has to be purified and compressed before it can be injected into the cavern. Hydrogen-filled cavities can act as a backup for a pipeline network. A cavern of this type is already operated by Linde on a commercial basis in Texas. Another transportation option for hydrogen is to deliver it to the point of use in converted form, i.e. as ammonia or methanol.

H2 value chain: applications

Powering Future Mobility with Hydrogen

Hydrogen is also the key to a more environmentally friendly mobility ecosystem. Linde Hydrogen FuelTech provides high-performance refueling concepts and technologies and is thus paving the way for end-to-end hydrogen infrastructures. Over 190 H2 fueling stations around the world are already equipped with our technology. This makes us the market leader for fast, efficient and successful hydrogen refueling solutions. Our compression technologies are at the heart of every H2 fueling station. Ionic technology is used to compress gaseous H2 to up to 100 MPa and the Cryo Pump efficiently supplies hydrogen in liquid form ready for refueling. We can adapt both systems to customers’ individual requirements. Now that our fueling technologies have clearly reached market maturity, we are the first company worldwide to launch small-series production of H2 fuel stations.

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H2 Talks

In our podcast series on hydrogen, experts discuss innovative developments and market trends, as well as Linde’s unique hydrogen value chain.

#1 Blue Hydrogen

“Blue hydrogen is the next step. That’s gray hydrogen combined with taking as much as possible of the CO2 out of the equation. So combining the technology of, for example, steam methane reforming with CO2 sequestration, and Linde has the technology to do that.”

#2 Green Hydrogen

“To produce huge amounts of green hydrogen, special technologies are necessary, and Linde is betting on proton exchange membrane technology, or simply PEM. That’s the technology where we believe we’ll deliver the quantities of hydrogen that we are going to require as we transition to the kind of zero-emission future that is going to be required for us to meet our commitments under the Paris Accords.”

#3 From Hype to Reality

“The technology which our experts have developed, which is called Cryo Pump technology, compresses the liquid hydrogen in two stages. This brings it ’to the target pressure of 90 megapascal. We then warm it up to ambient temperature and store it or fill it directly into the car. And by using that technology, we save a lot of electrical energy at the station because we don’t need electrical energy to cool down the hydrogen. This represents a a significant saving when it comes to frequent fuelings.”

#4 Bridging the Gap

“Low-carbon hydrogen can be achieved today. And it is important in bridging the gap between gray hydrogen and green hydrogen. And that is where Linde comes into the picture, bringing technologies together to produce hydrogen as efficiently and with as little CO2 as possible.”

The A-Z of Hydrogen

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