Linde LienHwa overcomes hydrogen challenges in Taiwan

Annabelle Shu, Taipei; Vyra Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: Linde

In the context of electric vehicle development, the availability of peripheral infrastructure like charging stations has become a critical factor for both consumers and corporates when deciding to adopt electric vehicles as their primary mode of transportation. Similarly, in the strategic roadmap for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the number of hydrogen refueling stations is a pivotal component in the broader advancement of the hydrogen energy sector.

Key players within the supply chain generally hold the belief that Taiwan's hydrogen fuel cell industry is progressively becoming more comprehensive, encompassing 14 core segments. These segments include methanol supply, hydrogen supply, water electrolysis equipment, methanol fuel storage, fuel reformers, hydrogen storage alloy containers, fuel cell systems, auxiliary peripheral equipment components, battery stacks and modules, bipolar plates, catalysts, membrane electrolysis assemblies, gas diffusion layers, and proton exchange membranes

Moreover, supply chain stakeholders also acknowledge two primary challenges in the development of Taiwan's hydrogen energy sector: the establishment of hydrogen refueling stations, the transportation of hydrogen gas, and the acquisition of clean hydrogen. Linde LienHwa Industrial Gases, a prominent player, has put forth solutions to tackle these challenges.

Linde LienHwa not only holds a prominent position as Taiwan's primary industrial gas supplier but also, in mid-2023, inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to conduct a pilot demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in collaboration with Hotai Motor, establishing itself as a pioneer in advancing the hydrogen fuel industry and vehicle adoption in Taiwan.

Linde LienHwa emphasized that despite the convenience of the prevalent charging model for electric vehicles in the market, it still lags behind when it comes to the refueling model, which remains the dominant choice in terms of time efficiency. As a major global producer of blue hydrogen and the exclusive manufacturer of blue hydrogen in Taiwan, Linde LienHwa is dedicated to advancing green hydrogen production, making it a preferred partner for Hotai Motor.

Finding suitable locations for hydrogen refueling stations presented challenges for Linde LienHwa. These challenges were not limited to high costs but also encompassed significant safety concerns among the public. In response, Linde LienHwa announced its achievement of ISO 14687 hydrogen fuel product specifications in August 2023, underscoring its commitment to delivering high-quality hydrogen products to government agencies, industry partners, and consumers. Linde LienHwa is among the select few in Taiwan to obtain international certification.

In terms of hydrogen refueling station construction technology, Linde LienHwa collaborates with its joint venture partner Linde, complying with ISO 19880 hydrogen station certification. With a global track record of constructing and operating over 200 stations, their mature technical capabilities are well-suited to meet both current and future expansion needs.

Additionally, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has unveiled the "Hydrogen Application Development Technology Blueprint 2050" for Taiwan's hydrogen sector. The primary objectives include estimating Taiwan's hydrogen and ammonia demand and analyzing emerging hydrogen application technologies, such as seawater electrolysis and various carrier import/export technologies. In the short term, ITRI aims to integrate its hydrogen technology research and development plan by 2035 and foster international collaboration. ITRI has already forged partnerships with several international research organizations, including a 2023 agreement with a Japanese company on electrolysis hydrogen production technology and a feasibility assessment of Taiwan's liquid hydrogen import infrastructure in collaboration with Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries. ITRI is also engaged in joint research with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan on hydrogen gas leak detection technology, with the goal of establishing Taiwan as a key player in various domains by forging connections with leading international hydrogen technology organizations.

The Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City in Southern Taiwan Science Park has harnessed both domestic and international research and development resources to integrate various green energy technologies. These technologies encompass hydrogen, solar energy, geothermal energy, energy storage, and the power grid. This innovation hub serves as a cradle for the evolution of Taiwan's green energy technology, supporting industry transformation through four significant aspects: a one-stop green energy technology research and verification service, cross-disciplinary integration of green energy technology demonstration applications, a forward-looking green energy industry supply chain connecting upstream, midstream, and downstream companies, and a comprehensive hydrogen energy system verification platform.