World premiere: Air Liquide inaugurates its CO₂ cold capture system, Cryocap™

Today, in France, Air Liquide inaugurated Cryocap™, a unique industrial installation that enables the capture of CO2 released during hydrogen production via a cryogenic process. Connected to Air Liquide’s largest hydrogen production unit in France, located in Port-Jérôme, Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon (Normandy), Cryocap™ represents an investment of around 30 million euros that was decided by the Group in 2012, and which received an additional public financial support1 of close to 9 million euros.

Developed jointly by Air Liquide R&D and Engineering & Construction teams, Cryocap™ is being rolled out for the first time in Port-Jérôme, on the SMR (Steam Methane Reformer2) of Air Liquide which produces hydrogen for the neighboring refinery, Esso Raffinage SAF (ExxonMobil group). Hydrogen is used to remove the sulfur content of the automotive fuels the refinery produces, in order to bring them into compliance with environmental standards in the transportation sector.

Cryocap™ is the first CO2 capture technology using a cryogenic process3. Cryocap™ enables the capture of CO2 emissions resulting from the production of hydrogen by natural gas reforming, while improving efficiency, leading to an increased hydrogen production. After being purified, the captured CO2 can be used to meet a variety of industrial needs for carbonic gas supply (carbonation of sparkling beverages, food preservation and freezing, etc.). The Cryocap™ unit has an annual capture capacity of 100 000 tonnes of CO2 at this site.

This innovation is part of Air Liquide’s broader Blue Hydrogen* approach, whose goal is the gradual decarbonization of the Group’s production of hydrogen dedicated to energy applications, opening the way for 100% clean mobility.

François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising Innovation, commented: “We take particular pride in rolling out for the first time in France Cryocap™, a technology which illustrates Air Liquide’s ability to innovate for environmental preservation. Cryocap™ contributes to decarbonized hydrogen mobility for the hydrogen-powered electric vehicles on the market.”

Read more about Cryocap and Hydrogen Energy

1 Public support from the Haute Normandie region, the community of Caux Vallée de Seine communes, and ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) through the Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir, a program for investment for the future.
2 A process mostly used today in the large-scale production of hydrogen, natural gas steam reforming releases CO2
3 A process with no chemical components that uses low temperatures to compress, liquefy and then separate gases at the heart of the SMR process. Cryocap™ captures emitted CO2 and valorizes residual hydrogen.

*Blue Hydrogen is an Air Liquide program whose goal is to gradually decarbonize its production of hydrogen dedicated to energy applications. In practical terms, Air Liquide has made a commitment to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary for these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020 by combining:
- the use of the technologies for the capture and upgrading of carbon emitted during the process of producing hydrogen from natural gas.
- the use of renewable energies, water electrolysis, and biogas reforming