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Air Products to Build Another Hydrogen Plant in Louisiana

Air Products, the leading global provider of hydrogen, will build a new hydrogen production facility in Garyville, La.  The facility will supply the Garyville refinery operations of Marathon Petroleum Company, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil, and other customers located on its Louisiana Hydrogen Pipeline Network.

The 120 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) steam methane reforming plant is projected to be on-stream in late 2009, in conjunction with Marathon’s major refinery expansion project. The plant will supply both hydrogen and steam for refinery operations.

Air Products had been supplying hydrogen via pipeline to Marathon’s Garyville refinery since 1993.  Marathon’s hydrogen demand increased with its recent announcement of a plant expansion project that will expand the crude oil refining capacity of the Garyville refinery from 245,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 425,000 bpd.

The Garyville hydrogen facility is the 29th to be built through the global alliance between Air Products and Technip.   Technip provides the design and construction expertise for steam reformers while Air Products provides the gas separation technology. The plants are operated and maintained by Air Products under long-term agreements with customers.

The hydrogen business is booming. (Earlier post.)  In 2006, Air Products brought on-stream six new North American plants located in Convent, La.; Baytown and Port Arthur, Tx.; Joliet, Ill.; and in Canada near Edmonton, Alberta and Sarnia, Ontario.  In 2006 Air Products increased hydrogen production capacity by more than 450 MMSCFD.  The company also announced plans for a second Edmonton, Alberta area facility to be on-stream in 2008.  It is to be the first commercial plant in Canada to provide the sale of hydrogen for use in the upgrading of Canadian oil sands.

According to General Motors, global hydrogen production capacity is currently around 50 million tons per year—enough to fuel some 200 million hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles—95% of it produced from natural gas. The primary uses for this industrial hydrogen are in refining operations and for the production of ammonia.



>> 95% of it produced from natural gas. <<

Why not just burn natural gas in an ICE engine and forget paying the middle man?


whoa! slow it down there KJD... that would be far too logical.


Hydrogen acts as a buffer between the supply and the consumption. Yes, there is certainly an efficiency penalty, but if transportation becomes hydrogen-driven then our fuel can come from a range of sources - natural gas, nuclear, wind, you name it.

Does this mean that it's the absolute best choice? Not necessarily. But it's not a crazy idea.

Mark A

Slow down there KJD, and all. Currently, most of Air Products hydrogen generation is used in industrial applications, and not in ICE engines. Alot of the hydrogen generated is used in cryogenic applications. In fact, just how many hydrogen powered vehicles are currently in production? Not many. I doubt Air Products is building this new plant just for vehicle applications.

Its a story here because its hydrogen, and may have a use in a decade or so, in future vehicles.

Paul Dietz

Most of the hydrogen is probably used for things like ammonia synthesis and hydrodesulfurization/cracking of heavy petroleum. The US produces millions of tons of hydrogen a year, almost all of it for industrial use.




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