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Air Liquide and Faurecia partner to develop on-board liquid hydrogen storage systems

Air Liquide and Faurecia signed a joint development agreement to design and produce on-board liquid hydrogen storage systems for the automotive industry.

Liquid hydrogen storage for fuel cell vehicles is well-suited for long-haul applications; with this technology, the amount of hydrogen stored is double that of gaseous hydrogen. As a consequence, heavy duty trucks operating on liquid hydrogen have twice the autonomy of those operating on gaseous hydrogen, and benefit from a short refueling time and optimized payload.

The partnership will leverage the companies’ complementary competencies from their respective core businesses which will be fundamental to accelerate the technology’s time-to-market.

  • Air Liquide will bring its recognized expertise across the entire liquid hydrogen value chain, including extreme cryogenics, storage technology, refueling interface and infrastructure know-how.

  • Faurecia will bring its architecture and systems integration expertise, its recognized skill in automotive testing and simulation, its global automotive industrial know-how and footprint, as well as its strong intimacy with vehicle manufacturers.

By 2030, fuel cell vehicle production could represent 2.5 million vehicles, of which 20% could be commercial trucks, the partners said. Due to intensive usage, by 2030, heavy-duty vehicles could represent close to 60% of the hydrogen consumption for mobility markets.



well-suited for long-haul applications


Liquefied hydrogen may have twice the density of pressurized hydrogen but it is even more energy expensive as the liquefaction point of hydrogen is only 20 degrees above absolute zero. Then, it is constantly boiling off. I do not think that it is well suited for much other than rocket fuel and especially upper stage rocket fuel.


Some think Liquid H2 can work as a fuel for FC aircraft and are paying to investigate the feasibility: https://www.autoevolution.com/news/worlds-first-liquid-hydrogen-powered-aircraft-boasts-unmatched-range-and-endurance-171670.html


I probably should have added aviation and particularly high-performance military aviation as other possible uses for liquid hydrogen. However, I would be very surprised to see it used for commercial trucking.


UPS uses LNG for trucking


40% of the energy content of liquid H2 is used to liquefy and compress it in the first place. It occupies 4 times the volume of kerosene for equivalent energy. Cryogenic cooling to -253 deg C. Huge insulated tanks. Bloated beluga whale aircraft. Horrible safety. Every few years the aviation industry recycles a new Mcguffin to pretend they are going to do "something" about the environment. UHBR, geared fans, open rotor/ propfans, biofuels, BWB, recuperation, hybrid electric, now they are recycling hydrogen again from the 80s when it was found to be unworkable.

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