Hydrogen, a chemical element, is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, flammable gaseous substance that can be used in various applications. Hydrogen is used chiefly in refining petroleum, treating metals, producing fertiliser, and processing foods. The liquid form of hydrogen is used primarily as fuel for rockets. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) started using hydrogen to fuel its rockets in the 1950s.
Hydrogen is also used in fuel cells, where it reacts with oxygen through an electrochemical cell similar to that of a battery to produce electricity, water, and small amounts of heat. These fuel cells are used as a power source for laptops, mobile phones, vehicles and can also be used as backup or emergency power in buildings.
In Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), hydrogen is used as a power source which is two to three times more efficient than an internal combustion engine running on gasoline. Many leading automakers are launching their hydrogen vehicles models. During the first half of 2021, Hyundai sold around 4,700 hydrogen-based vehicles to the global market and topped the list in hydrogen vehicles sales, while Toyota remained the second with about 3,700 units.
The rise in sales of hydrogen vehicles also leads to more demand for hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS). These stations are similar to the gasoline refuelling stations where hydrogen also reached the station in trucks and then filled into the vehicles. There are also various other ways to transport hydrogen, such as through pipes and tube trailers. If the hydrogen arrives in liquid form, then it first needs to be converted to a gaseous state through vaporiser towers before it can be used. The two filling pressures that are commonly used are H70 or 700 bar and H35 or 350 bar.
The main difference between the gasoline and hydrogen station is that hydrogen can also be produced on-site through electrolysis, a process used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen refuelling stations can also be used as mobile stations. There are three main technologies used for on-site water electrolysis: alkaline electrolysis, proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis and solid oxide high-temperature electrolysis. Alkaline electrolysis is the most matured electrolysis technology, and dominates the market, especially for large-scale projects. However, many new projects are now employing PEM technology. PEM electrolysers are at an earlier stage of development than alkaline electrolysers and have a variety of advantages over the other two, such as a higher rate of hydrogen production, more compact design, and greater energy efficiency
There has been an increase in hydrogen refuelling stations over the past few years due to increased fuel cell vehicles adoption worldwide. Many companies are working on deploying hydrogen fueling stations, such as Ballard Power, Plug Power, Proton Power Systems, and ITM Power. Governments are also providing funds for the development of hydrogen fuelling stations network. In June 2021, the Government of Queensland, Australia, announced approximately US$ 1.5 billion for the development of infrastructure across renewable and hydrogen industries. In December 2020 US Department of Energy (DoE) also launched US$ 33 million of new funding for the development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure, fuel cell R&D and cost analysis initiatives.
As of the first half of 2021, there were around 550 active hydrogen stations worldwide and nearly 200 planned hydrogen fueling stations. Japan has the most active hydrogen stations as compared to other countries around the world. It has around 150 active hydrogen stations, while Germany is in the second position with about 102 active hydrogen fuelling stations.
Refuelling and energy companies are enduring to increase the number of hydrogen fueling stations worldwide, such as Exolum, which formed a partnership with Naturgy and Scale Gas to develop hydrogen production, distribution, and supply infrastructures across Spain. The alliance is named Win4H2. Under the alliance, partners agreed to develop around 50 hydrogen stations across Spain.
HyStation consortium, which now consists of six companies after joining Woodside in September 2021, aims to develop hydrogen refuelling stations for public transport bus fleets in South Korea. The consortium expects to launch its first hydrogen refuelling station by the end of 2022.
In September 2021, McPhy announced that it was selected by R-Hynoca project to deploy a hydrogen fuelling station in Strasbourg, France. The station will have 350-750 bar dual pressure refuelling capability. The stations will also have a production capacity of around 700 kg of green hydrogen per day, and it is expected to be online by the end of 2022.
TotalEnergies also announced in September 2021 to have started constructing a complete multi-fuel filling station in Breda, the Netherlands, in cooperation with Berkman and Tigchelaar. The station will have the capability to facilitate hydrogen for FCEVs. The station will have 700 and 350 bar filling pressure and will start operations by November 2021.
In August 2021, Anglo American announced the commissioning of its hydrogen station in Colina, Chile. The station is equipped with a hydrogen generator module with a production capacity of around 2 kg/day of hydrogen. The company is also actively working on developing a mining truck that will use hydrogen as a fuel source.
In May 2021, BMW also announced the installation of a fourth hydrogen refuelling station in its Leipzig plant, Germany. The company uses a variety of hydrogen-based service vehicles in the factory. To supply hydrogen, it installed its first indoor station back in 2013, then the other two in 2018 and now the fourth one is also ready to supply hydrogen to vehicles.
Several factors will support the hydrogen refuelling stations market, such as the customers’ focus towards zero-emission vehicles and various governments’ regulations regarding the CO2 emissions from vehicles. There are also some challenges for the hydrogen refuelling station market, such as significant initial expenditure, limited infrastructure and high cost of hydrogen. The COVID-19 pandemic also disrupted the growth of the hydrogen refuelling stations market over the last two years, which is now recovering.
Hydrogen Refuelling Stations Database Coverage
- Over 700 refuelling stations
- Station data such as:
- Ownership structure
- Start date
- Type of station
- Hydrogen delivery method
- Production method
- Production capacity
- Storage capacity
- Project status such as:
Why is this product unique?
- Our sister company H2 Bulletin specialises in the hydrogen market.
- The refuelling station market is growing fast, and we are regularly monitoring the market.
- The database is provided in an Excel file.
- The data provides detailed information about the refuelling stations.
- We thoroughly check the data to make sure it is accurate.
- Our regular coverage of the hydrogen industry makes our service robust.
- We are independent and represent our views.
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