In the port of Antwerp, the French gas group Air Liquide plans to build a pilot plant for cracking ammonia on an industrial scale. A new type of technology will be used.
Using a newly developed technology, Air Liquide's plant will enable the conversion of ammonia into hydrogen with an optimized carbon footprint. The company made the announcement in a press release. It will be Belgium's first ammonia cracker, it said.
€8 billion for green hydrogen
Air Liquide has been active in the hydrogen value chain for about 60 years. As part of its ADVANCE strategic plan, the group has committed to invest approximately €8 billion globally in green hydrogen by 2035.
Michael J. Graff, Executive Vice President, Air Liquide Group, explains:
"Ammonia cracking complements Air Liquide's comprehensive portfolio of hydrogen technologies and adds another technological solution to enable the development of a global hydrogen market.
The Group is more committed than ever to making hydrogen a key element in the fight against climate change, particularly for the decarbonization of heavy industry and mobility."
Operation from 2024
The pilot plant, which combines what Air Liquide says is a novel process with proprietary technologies, is expected to be operational in 2024. The Flemish government has pledged financial support for the project through VLAIO (Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship).
Large-scale production, transport and use of hydrogen requires a global supply chain infrastructure. It enables hydrogen-producing regions to export the gas, for example in ammonia form, to end users who convert it back into hydrogen using crackers. Ammonia is increasingly coming into focus as a transport medium, especially for long distances.