LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. (April 1, 2009) – Air Products (NYSE: APD), a global leader in hydrogen fueling and infrastructure, has installed its hydrogen fueling station technology at the Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna Pennsylvania (DDSP) in New Cumberland, Pa. and today is powering an overall fleet of 40 hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts being used in daily warehouse operations. Air Products is the lead contractor for the two year Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) research and development demonstration pilot project.
In the pilot project, DDSP personnel will operate 20 fuel cell-powered forklifts alongside lead-acid battery forklifts, outside the scope pilot project, in daily operations. In addition, the fueling station will be used to support an additional 20 fuel cell-powered forklifts provided by DLA. Data to compare costs and operational characteristics will be collected and analyzed to support the development and commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for Department of Defense operations.
“We commend the DLA for taking this close look at the many positives, both operational and environmental, offered by the use of hydrogen powered forklifts. The program at this location provides for a side-by-side comparison during routine operations of the traditional lead-acid battery technology and the advanced hydrogen fuel-cell technology. We believe the performance of the hydrogen powered materials handling equipment will clearly demonstrate operational, economic and environmental benefits,” said Brian O’Neil, program manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.
“The DDSP project is the first in a series of three research and development pilots of fuel cell and associated hydrogen fueling technologies within the Defense Distribution Center,” said Leo Plonsky, DLA’s R&D program manager for hydrogen fuel cell technologies. “Not only does this technology reduce DLA’s dependence on imported oil, it reduces greenhouse gas emission that can contribute to climate change.”
There are many advantages to using hydrogen powered forklifts and other materials handling equipment. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment needs refueling, which can be completed in minutes, only once or twice daily depending on use. In contrast, traditional battery-powered equipment must be placed temporarily out of operation for battery replacement and required battery recharging approximately every four to six hours. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment provides consistent power during use and do not experience decreased performance or wear down as traditional lead-acid battery units do as they near a required battery change out or recharge time. Further, hydrogen-powered fuel cell equipment is more environmentally friendly, without associated lead-acid battery storage and disposal issues.
Air Products had previously announced a hydrogen fueling infrastructure project for the materials handling industry in late 2008. Air Products is installing indoor hydrogen fueling infrastructure to fill a fleet of over 200 fuel cell powered lift trucks that will operate at Central Grocers’ new distribution center in Joliet, Illinois. The distribution center fueling project will come on-stream in 2009. Air Products has also been involved with similar work at a grocery chain warehouse in Texas since 2007 and a manufacturing and assembly plant in Tennessee since 2006.
Air Products, the leading hydrogen supplier to refineries to assist in making cleaner burning transportation fuels, has completed over 85,000 hydrogen fills and has placed over 90 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 16 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts and other materials handling equipment, and even submarines, have been fueled with this trend-setting technology that involves Air Products’ know-how, equipment, and hydrogen, and use of the technology is increasing at over 2,500 hydrogen fills per month. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and HCNG (hydrogen/compressed natural gas) fueling, and has developed a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations is delivered to a site via truck, by on-site natural gas reformation, and by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.
Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Air Products has an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. For more information on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies go to www.airproducts.com/h2energy.
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. Air Products has annual revenues of over $10 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 21,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations