Swedish industrial products manufacturer Alfa Laval announced the launch of Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell Technologies, a new business unit aimed at capturing business opportunities in the hydrogen sector emerging from the global transition to clean energy sources.
Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for industrial and transport sectors with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical.
Around 94 million metric tonnes (MMT) of hydrogen are currently produced globally, although the vast majority is extracted using fossil fuels, which create pollutants and GHG emissions.
The development of clean hydrogen capacity, such as green hydrogen, which uses renewable energy to power the process to extract hydrogen from other materials, will require massive investments in areas including infrastructure, electrolysis, transport and storage.
Alfa Laval’s new business unit will focus on electrolyzers, which use renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases, and fuel cells, which convert the chemical energy of hydrogen and an oxidizing agent into electrical energy through an electrochemical reaction. The company said that it has been pioneering products and solutions in the areas of electrolyzers and fuel cells over the past three years, and is now forming a dedicated unit to focus on these areas.
The company also announced plans for an Innovation Center dedicated to heat exchangers, fuel cells and electrolyzer components, focused on innovation, R&D, and testing in these areas, and based at the company’s headquarters in Lund, where the largest heat exchanger factory is located. Alfa Laval added that the investment in resources and equipment for these initiatives will be significant.
Tom Erixon, President and CEO of Alfa Laval, said:
“The creation of a dedicated business unit confirms our commitment to drive the necessary actions in the evolving energy landscape. Hydrogen plays a pivotal role in the energy transition and our ambition is to speed up this transformation through innovation and the industrialization of electrolyzer and fuel cell components.”
The new business unit will be led by Madeleine Gilborne, who has been appointed as President of Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell Technologies. Gilborne currently at the company as Head of Clean Technologies and Vice President of the Energy Division.
Alfa Laval said that the new unit will be established by the beginning of 2024, and form part of the company’s Energy Division.