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Linde Opens New Hydrogen Center Near Munich; Sees 6 Million Hydrogen Cars in Europe by 2020

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.



"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."

What a GAS.
I,m sure they will be selling other gasses from the process to offset the cost of building this.

John Baldwin

Apparently, hydrogen is made from water so a really abundant fuel. There is a lot of water in Europe, particularly UK, so 6 million vehicles should be easy peasy. Looking outside, its raining in England today.....all that lovely CO2 free hydrogen going down the drains.....


In a zillion dollar gamble like fuels are you dont leave any remotely p[ossible direction undeveloped. As such the h2 sations are simply covering all bases.

Robert Schwartz

"Apparently, hydrogen is made from water so [it is] a really abundant fuel."

Not so. The key ingredient in the process Linde uses is natural gas. Ceterus Paribus, it is cheaper and more enviromentally friendly, to compress the natural gas and use it, rather than producing hydrogen first.

Sid Hoffman

I heard that hydrogen is made from happy thoughts and press releases, actually. Now I'm hearing it comes from reforming natural gas or by burning coal to make electricity for electrolysis?


What a joke.

John W.

John Baldwin,

it is not CO2 free, if you look at how they make the hydrogen. Sure the car produces steam while driving down the road, and everyone will go..."wow..." But what these people never seem to dwell on is the umpteem billion pounds of other carbon intensive fuels they need to burn in the first place to produce all the energy to split the water and get the hydrogen in the first place! And producing hydrogen from water is extremly! energy intensive.

It's so frustrating. They usually only tell half the story, which is in essense a lie. If hydrogen plants would mention the major amounts of CO2 they're pumping into the atmosphere making their hydrogen so that people could steam down the road in their blissful ignorance, there wouldn't be such a clamour for it. It's much more efficient/cheap to just put that electricity used for electrolysis straight into batteries/ultra-caps.


Windmill + water = Hydrogen

Where's the carbon?

Rafael Seidl

John W. -

Carmakers only tell half the story because they want to get out from under the onerous TAILPIPE emissions regulations that make their products look dirty.

The gas and nuclear industries are keeping schtumm about how they intend to produce the hydrogen because the fuel makes their dirty processes look clean.

Politicians only tell half the story because they are scientifically illiterate and/or in bed with the aforementioned industries. Case in point: Dubya claimed nuclear power was not just safe and clean (highly debatable) but also renewable (uranium grows on trees, you see...)

I agree with Robert Schwartz here: on-road vehicles should run on hydrocarbons for the foreseeable, preferably liquid ones with high energy density (esp. volumetric). Where feasible, biofuels should be preferred.


Anyone know if there's any public funding involved in this?

I wonder if he said "10 hydrogen vehicles a day" with a straight face? LMAO.


"Windmill + water = Hydrogen"

Windmill + generator = Energy

Who needs the hydrogen?


Who needs the hydrogen?

You didn't answer my question. Where's the carbon in the "equation" I wrote?

Electricity has this funny quality of needing to be used in real time. If there's a surplus of it, with nothing to take advantage of it, then the energy is wasted. Hydrogen is a storage medium.


Battery electric cars provide 3-4x the efficiency of hydrogen cars.

That means $4 / gallon hydrogen vs. $1 / gallon electricity.

Battery electric cars can be produced today & in the coming years we'll see them actually for sale.

A battery electric car can provide amazing performance & be efficient at the same time... not possible with hydrogen or gasoline / diesel cars.

Battery electric cars require no new infrastructure.

Hydrogen cars, I'm guessing, represent the oil & gas industries last gasp at trying to keep the world using hydrocarbon fuels. (hydrogen gas comes mostly now from reforming natural gas)

But you can't change the laws of physics. So, hydrogen loses. Batteries win.

I'm surprised that Europeans, who I thought were more sensible than most, are being led down the same Hydrogen hype path.


Battery electric cars provide 3-4x the efficiency of hydrogen cars.

So batteries last forever? Please provide the numbers which show that 3-4x efficiency number -- both with current and projected technology.

That means $4 / gallon hydrogen vs. $1 / gallon electricity.

The only relevant number is cost per mile over the lifetime of the vehicle. Fuel cells can also be used in a cogen fashion when parked.

Sid Hoffman

To answer pizmo's question, the carbon is in all the energy and materials used to design, manufacture, assemble, truck/ship, and set up the windmill in the first place, at which point you have a source of energy which is low maintenance (but not maint free) and several times more expensive than the cheapest forms of electricity. It's also several times more expensive than hydrogen reforming from natural gas, which is why no one creates hydrogen that way.

If you want to play that game, then GM's vehicles are all 85% renewable because you COULD make them run on ethanol. Sure, hydrogen COULD be made from renewable sources, but it isn't. Ever.

Rafael Seidl

Matt -

politicians are like lemmmings...

In any case, hydrogen advocates don't have as much of a lead on the biofuel crowd as they do in the US. Moreover, the EU farm lobby is a fearsome behemoth and nuclear policy is left to the nation states; even France isn't planning to build any new ones right now. Therefore, I expect hydrogen will never take off in Europe.

Linde is a huge industrial gases company. They'll find other markets for the hydrogen (short-hop aviation based on new aircraft designs, perhaps?)

Curiously, European pols and carmakers appear to have missed the emerging Li-ion based HEV/PHEV/BEV technology altogether (with a few exceptions).


Several well-to-wheel studies have shown that hydrogen made from fossil fuels is madness, both from an emissions as well as from an efficiency point of view (as Robert Schwarz says: better compress the NG for CNG cars - no need to make the inefficient detour via hydrogen).

H2 from wind is very inefficient and expensive, whereas biohydrogen is foolish because the biomass can better be transformed into other biofuels rightaway.

According to the EU's latest well-to-wheel analysis of over 70 fuel paths, hydrogen is out, and biogas is in. (Biogas being the most environmentally friendly transport fuel).

Check it out:

Hydrogen out, compressed biogas in


To answer pizmo's question, the carbon is in all the energy and materials used to design, manufacture, assemble, truck/ship, and set up the windmill in the first place

Which is how much exactly, assuming all the energy inputs themselves are carbon-neutral?

several times more expensive than the cheapest forms of electricity

Not according to the data I've seen. You also factoring in the costs of "externalities" like acid rain and mercury in the food chain, as well as global warming?

It's also several times more expensive than hydrogen reforming from natural gas, which is why no one creates hydrogen that way.

So since the technology is at this point now, we shouldn't work on improving it? How come people don't apply that same standard to batteries? Technology evolves. Costs go down.

If you want to play that game, then GM's vehicles are all 85% renewable because you COULD make them run on ethanol.

I'm not playing any game. I just find it odd how people think there's some sort of carbon content in hydrogen production from renewable sources. Maybe if there's some sort of non-neutral carbon content in the turbine itself (which is minimal compared to the energy output over its lifetime and especially compared to competing fuels like coal).

Sure, hydrogen COULD be made from renewable sources, but it isn't.

Sure, batteries could last forever and have fast recharge times and be low cost. But they're not.


No one has ever made hydrogen from electricity that comes from wind, solar, hydro, geotherm, or wave? Nor will they ever? I don't think so.


Every day something new comes up. A couple of weeks ago
There was a article about algae producing Hydrogen, no C
When algae is deprived of o2 and sulfur it produces hydrogen this can be turned on and off . and there are other byproducts also Bio fuel the ablity to take c02 out

Roger Pham

Lorenzo et al,
H2 can be produced from coal gasification or hydrocarbon reformation for under $1/kg if used on-site. The energy required to heat to high temp for the gasification process can be recycled to produce electricity via steam turbine. Ditto for H2 from waste biomass via gasification. If you factor in this type of heat recycling, then H2 production can be very efficient, even more so than electricity production from coal in a standard coal-fired electricity plant. Now, tell me, Lorenzo, why would biogas be any more efficient than H2 when both are produced from the thermal decomposition of biomass? GAsification is a proven H2 mass-production process using all types of biomass as feedstocks with highest efficiency.

To overcome the lost of efficiency of transporting H2 over long distance or of storage of H2, H2 can be produced locally from various feedstocks as the needs arise. Now, looking at the Honda FCX at 60% efficiency, or at the potential for 45% efficiency for H2-ICE-HEV, vs. ~20% efficiency for gasoline cars, which is more efficient? Even if H2 is made from coal or crude oil, it still can be more efficiently used than gasoline from crude oil or BTL or CTL.

Technologies now exist to produce and to utilize H2 from solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy just as efficient or even more efficient than renewable electrical energy for transportation, calculating from Source-to-Wheel overall efficiency.

Since H2 is so bulky to store in a car, it forces car manufacturers to strive for ever-increasing efficiency just to pack enough range. With gasoline car having such an energy-dense fuel, less attention was paid for maximizing fuel efficiency. This is why we now have monstrous personal vehicles with EPG rating of 15-18 mpg's, and they are all over the streets, spewing pollution from their exhaust pipes.

Every day, I have to commute thru heavy traffics, and often exposed to unpleasant if not noxious fumes from petroleum-burning vehicles. Sometimes, it gives me a headaches. Those pickup trucks, SUV and vans are not built to the highest standard of emission requirement, being considered trucks, so that has worsen the local air quality... "Wishin' they could all be Hydrogen...Cars..." (Beach Boys' tune in the background)

Sure hope it will happen within my lifetime (3 or 4 decades more to go)! (Hydrocarbon-free transportation!) Too bad, as highly intelligent and as well-informed as the people in this forum are, and still, most of them are not seeing the clear-cut advantages of hydrogen, so, it probably ain't gonna happen, and that's just too bad.


I think I've finally worked out the sense in all this hydrogen nonsense....

You just have to replace the word "hydrogen" with "environmental PR" and it all becomes clear!

GM: "We have spent one billion on environmental PR".
Bush: "This administration will spend millions on environmental PR, developing a future US economy based around environmental PR".

Nobody ever cared about the economics or the energy balance of the thing....



(sorry to be annoying, but according to one popular Hollywood movie You are “finally the man worse to be killed”)

Anyway, I believe that your view of our politicians is overly optimistic. They support obviously lousy concepts (like immediate hydrogen economy) for two reasons:
1. To capitalize on votes of marginal extremists.
2. To find excuse for newer taxes.
And it seems to me way more serious problem that their inherent scientific illiteracy…


Roger Pham wrote: Now, tell me, Lorenzo, why would biogas be any more efficient than H2 when both are produced from the thermal decomposition of biomass?

Biogas is made from the anaerobic digestion/fermentation of biomass, not from thermal decomposition. In biogas, bacteria do the work, not some external energy source.

But you can use biogas (anaerobically digested biomass) as a feedstock for H2 production. Only it makes no sense because you can better use the biogas directly in a CBG-hybrid, instead of making the detour via hydrogen.

Have you had a look at the WTW efficiency and emissions data in the EU report? It clearly shows which paths for H2 are efficient and which ones are not. Only a very limited number of paths are better than gasoline on both accounts, and those that are (compressed H2 from wood gasification, used in a fuel cell; and compressed H2 from wind, via the electrolysis of water, used in a fuel cell), have alternative paths that are many times less costly. The only path that stands a bit of a chance is compressed H2 from the gasification of biomass, but only provided the cost of fuel cells and distribution infrastructure comes down radically. (Distribution infrastructure for biomass too, because for gasification plants you need big plants with scale advantages; that means you need to bring in enough biomass to a plant; bulky as biomass is, this is quite costly).

So if you look at the entire picture for possible H2 paths, either the WTW path is too inefficient, or will kill the planet with its CO2 emissions or there are alternatives for the use of the primary energy that make more sense (in the case of biomass-gasification), or the path is way too expensive.

The report identifies biogas (which is the least CO2 intensive of over 70 fuels, and often even CO2 negative) used in a dedicated hybrid-biogas car, to be the most efficient, cleanest, and relatively affordable. Not me saying this.

It's possible you're right about potential efficiency increases in the future, for H2 WTT paths that were not taken into account in that recent report. But such efficiency increases are probably to be expected for non-H2 paths too.


the only thing thats important is that hydrogenics has a supply agreement with both linde age and BOC...lind AG bought hydrogenics today and by mid 07 buy urself a new hydrogen powered car

John W.


Thank you for your last post, it was very well articulated and reasoned. Helpful for many I'm sure.

Pizmo, you are also right that there can be a "carbon neutral" path to hydrogen via wind turbine, etc, but as Lorenzo highlighted very clearly above, it just doesn't make as much sense, that is all I was trying to say earlier anyways.

Nice thread here guys, with no name calling going on even! :)

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