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Air Liquide welcomes Bill Gates and his Breakthrough Energy team for hydrogen experience

Published on April 18, 2024

3 minutes

From entire state legislatures to titans of philanthropy, hydrogen’s impact, and Air Liquide’s leadership across the hydrogen value chain, is being recognized. Following a successful event educating Texas’ elected officials on hydrogen, this week, Air Liquide welcomed Bill Gates and his Breakthrough Energy team to its hydrogen production facility in La Porte, Texas. 

In Houston to speak at CERAWeek, the annual energy industry conference, Bill Gates noted that he was “in Texas to see the future”. Just like Air Liquide, Mr. Gates sees hydrogen as critical to advancing the clean energy transition, aptly calling it the “Swiss Army Knife of decarbonization”. 

Air Liquide Group Executive Vice President Mike Graff was on hand to welcome Mr. Gates and to lead the discussion and tour of the site. Mike highlighted that the La Porte hydrogen production facility, a traditional SMR production site, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for a FEED study on the design and implementation of full-scale carbon capture efficiency of at least 95%, positioning it as a striking illustration of the energy transition. Air Liquide will utilize its expertise in hydrogen production and a unique combination of technologies, including Air Liquide’s proprietary Cryocap™ H2 & Cryocap™ FG technologies. 

Mike stressed to the Breakthrough Energy team that hydrogen production is just one aspect of Air Liquide’s hydrogen technology portfolio, and that expertise along the entire value chain is needed for a robust national hydrogen economy. The facility also connects to Air Liquide’s largest pipeline network globally, and is backed up by the largest hydrogen storage facility in the world, which Air Liquide owns and operates in Spindletop, Texas.

Calling back to the versatility of hydrogen, it allows for different feedstocks that align with the natural resources of different regions, which of course, is also the basis of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program. As a central partner in 6 of the 7 Hubs selected, Mike gave a preview of the next item on the Breakthrough team’s agenda, the Gulf Coast’s HyVelocity Hub. 

Creating a new energy economy takes technology, policy, investment and perhaps most importantly, people. Bill has pointed out that “Nearly half a million Texans work in the oil and gas industry, and their skills are directly transferable to next-generation industries. This workforce will help form the backbone of the world’s new clean energy economy, and it will cement Texas’s energy leadership for generations to come.” Air Liquide was proud to introduce a few of our talented employees who make up this workforce. 

As the clean energy transition continues to progress, Air Liquide is proud to work alongside leaders like Breakthrough Energy, and those in government, industry and community, to ensure a clean hydrogen economy that acts for all.