Air Liquide to build new low-carbon hydrogen unit in Grandpuits
Photo courtesy TotalEnergies

Air Liquide to build new low-carbon hydrogen unit in Grandpuits

TotalEnergies and Air Liquide are innovating to produce and valorize renewable, low-carbon hydrogen at the Grandpuits zero-crude platform. These innovations will prevent emissions amounting to 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year compared to current processes.

Air Liquide will invest more than EUR130 million (USD135 million) in the construction and operation of a new unit producing hydrogen. This unit will partly use biogas from the biorefinery built by TotalEnergies and will be delivered with Air Liquide’s carbon capture technology CryocapTM. Under a long-term contract, TotalEnergies will purchase the hydrogen produced for the needs of its Grandpuits zero-crude platform. TotalEnergies’ biorefinery in Grandpuits will use the unit’s hydrogen to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). 

In line with the two companies’ shared ambition to get to net zero by 2050, the project includes sustainable and circular innovations: 

• The new hydrogen production unit, with the capacity to produce more than 20,000 tons a  year will produce hydrogen that is partly renewable, thanks to the recycling of residual  biogas from the Grandpuits biorefinery, in place of the natural gas that is normally used.  

• This unit will be delivered with a carbon capture technology, allowing it to help reduce  the platform’s carbon footprint, by capturing more than 110,000 tons of CO2 a year for reuse  in food and industrial applications. 

• Most of the unit’s renewable, low-carbon hydrogen will be used by the biorefinery itself,  to produce sustainable aviation fuel, but it could also be used to support sustainable  mobility in the Ile-de-France region. 

“By recycling the biogas produced by the biorefinery into renewable hydrogen, this innovative  project makes full use of the conversion of the Grandpuits refinery into a zero-crude platform  harnessing the potential of biomass, especially in the production of sustainable aviation fuel,”  said Bernard Pinatel, president, Refining & Chemicals, TotalEnergies. “Combined with the  production of low carbon hydrogen and the capture of CO2, this project contributes to TotalEnergies’ ambition to decarbonise all of the hydrogen used by its European refineries by  2030.” 

“This innovative project is characterized by the combination of several solutions in order to  produce renewable and low-carbon hydrogen,and contribute to the decarbonisation of  TotalEnergies’ Grandpuits site. It also provides the opportunity to recycle CO2 as part of a  circular economy approach while securing its supply for agri-food applications,” said Pascal Vinet, senior vice president and member of the Executive  Committee, Air Liquide, in charge of Europe Industries activities.

Commissioned in 1966, Total’s Grandpuits-Bailly-Carrois refinery was for a long time the only  refinery in the Paris region. In September 2020, TotalEnergies launched a project to convert  the site, in line with its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2050. This zero-crude project,  with a total investment of more than EUR500 million (USD520 million), is based on the development of several  future-oriented activities in the field of biomass, renewable energies, and the circular economy:  chemical recycling of plastic waste, production of biosourced and biodegradable bioplastics, production of biofuels for the aviation sector, construction of a solar farm and electricity storage  by batteries. The start-up of these new units will begin in 2022, and they should all be  operational by 2025.