Air Liquide announces its partnership with Energy Observer, a project that involves the world’s first seagoing vessel powered by hydrogen and renewable energies, energy self-sufficient and with zero greenhouse gas or fine particle emissions. Officially launched today in Saint-Malo (Britanny), this experimental catamaran will make the first-ever trip around the world powered solely by renewable energies in order to test these technologies under extreme conditions so they can be rolled out on a larger scale, at sea and on land, for mobile and stationary purposes.
Energy Observer, project initiated by Victorien Erussard - Captain and Jérôme Delafosse - Explorer, embarks on a 6-year world tour that will take the team to 50 countries and involve 101 stops with the main challenge to aim for self-reliance through energy coupling and the carbon-free production of hydrogen. To ensure the energy self-sufficiency of the ship all along the expedition, day and night, the hydrogen produced via the electrolysis of seawater will be compressed and stored and then converted into electricity by means of the fuel cell. Hydrogen, as an energy vector, makes it possible to compensate for the intermittence of renewable energies.
With more than 20 years of experience in the development of hydrogen energy, notably for mobility, Air Liquide gives its support to this scientific and technological project which demonstrates the role of hydrogen in the energy transition. Support for this project also illustrates the Group's ambition to contribute to a more sustainable world.
Air Liquide masters the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage and from distribution to the development of applications for end users, contributing to the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy. To date, 75 hydrogen stations have already been designed and installed by Air Liquide worldwide. With Blue Hydrogen initiative, Air Liquide is moving towards a gradual decarbonization of its hydrogen production and has made a commitment to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary to these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020, by combining the use of renewable energies, water electrolysis, and biogas reforming, and the use of the technologies for the capture and upgrading of carbon emitted during the process of producing hydrogen from natural gas.