Swedish industrial products manufacturer Alfa Laval announced the launch of Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell Technologies, a new business unit aimed at exploiting business opportunities in the hydrogen sector arising from the global transition to clean energy sources.
Hydrogen is seen as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, especially for industrial and transport sectors with difficult to reduce emissions, where sustainable energy solutions such as wind and solar energy are less practical.
About 94 million tons of hydrogen are currently produced worldwide, although the vast majority is extracted using fossil fuels, which produce pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.
Developing clean hydrogen capacity, such as green hydrogen, which uses renewable energy to power the process of extracting hydrogen from other materials, will require huge investments in areas such as 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 oxidant into electrical energy through an electrochemical reaction. The company said it has been pioneering products and solutions in electrolyzers and fuel cells over the past three years, and is now forming a dedicated unit that will 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 located at the company’s headquarters in Lund, where the largest heat exchanger factory is located. Alfa Laval added that the investments in resources and equipment for these initiatives will be significant.
Tom Erixon, president and CEO of Alfa Laval, said:
“The establishment of a dedicated business unit confirms our commitment to driving the necessary actions in the changing energy landscape. Hydrogen plays a crucial role in the energy transition and our ambition is to accelerate this transformation through innovation and the industrialization of electrolysis and fuel cell components.”
The new business unit will be led by Madeleine Gilborne, who has been appointed president of Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell Technologies. Gilborne currently works at the company as head of Clean Technologies and vice president of the energy division.
Alfa Laval said the new unit will be established in early 2024 and will be part of the company’s energy division.