|Linde’s concept of a universal cryogenic filling station. Click to enlarge.|
The Linde Group—the new name for the combined Linde AG and BOC Group plc—has officially inaugurated the Linde Hydrogen Center in Lohhof near Munich, Germany. The €3-million (US$3.8-million) center combines the functions of a hydrogen filling station with those of a technology test center, a training center and a presentation platform.
The core of the facility is a filling station which supplies a test fleet of hydrogen-fueled cars and buses with both liquid hydrogen (LH2) and compressed gaseous hydrogen (CGH2). Linde expects to fill on average 10 hydrogen vehicles a day—making the center, according to the company, one of the busiest hydrogen filling stations in the world. The center’s measurement and control equipment also provides engineers, customers and partners with valuable insights for further research and development.
Linde is involved in a large number of initiatives as a hydrogen supplier, including ARGEMUC (Airport Munich), CEP (Clean Energy Partnership), CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) and Zero Regio (Zero Emission Region). Through its acquisition of the British gas company The BOC Group plc, Linde gained a further 100 hydrogen plants worldwide.
Linde has also developed a mobile filling systems—the traiLH2—which allows vehicles to be refueled with liquid hydrogen and gaseous hydrogen, and which can be operated independently from an external electric power supply.
Linde is focusing in its research and development on the renewable production of hydrogen, especially bio-hydrogen.
In cooperation with specialists in the field, we are advancing the development of several methods for biomass conversion into hydrogen. We are confident that soon all the hydrogen required by the Linde Hydrogen Center can be produced by sustainable production methods.—Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG
Separately, the CEO of the Linde Group, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Reitzle, said during his plenary address at the 15th Aachen Colloquium “Automobile and Engine Technology” that the company conservatively expects to see more than 6 million hydrogen-powered cars in Europe by the end of the next decade.
Reitzle said it would be necessary to spend around 3.5 billion euros to build a hydrogen infrastructure of 2,800 filling stations for the European car market, but high oil prices would eventually offset the cost.
He urged German automotive companies to be at the forefront in developing ways to integrate the alternative fuel into future cars. “"It would be a shame if Germany were to sleep through a trend in hydrogen technology the way we slept through hybrids,” he said.