Air Products helps businesses move consumer goods purchased and used every day by providing the hydrogen fueling and infrastructure to power nearly 1,000 material handling fuel cell units operating in warehouses across the United States. Air Product will soon bring on stream technology to fuel the material handling units of a customer with warehouse locations in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Texas, it will easily eclipse the 1,000 unit milestone.

“We are the leader in providing hydrogen fueling and the related infrastructure to the material handling market. Today we are fueling nearly 1,000 pieces of material handling equipment, and we are refueling them safely on a daily basis. We are very proud of this accomplishment and with future installations already under contract, doubling the number of units is already within sight,” said Ed Kiczek, global director – Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. “It goes without saying that our technology’s consistent performance and reliability, along with the environmental sustainability and productivity benefits we provide have been recognized by this market application.”

Kiczek added that the early support in demonstration projects partially funded by the United States Department of Energy was important to proving the benefits of the technology. Details on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies and projects are provided at

There are many advantages to using hydrogen-powered forklifts and material handling equipment. Hydrogen-powered equipment only needs refueling once or twice daily, depending on use, and does not require change-out downtime while traditional battery-powered equipment is taken out of operation for battery replacement or recharging approximately every four to six hours. Hydrogen-powered equipment provides consistent power strength during use and does not experience decreased performance or wear down as battery units do when nearing change-out or recharge time. Additionally, unlike battery-powered forklifts, hydrogen-powered fuel cells are not adversely impacted by temperature when operating in coolers and freezers. Further, hydrogen-powered equipment is more environmentally friendly and does not involve lead-acid battery storage or disposal issues.

Many of the material handling units being fueled by Air Products include Plug Power’s hydrogen fuel cell power units. The GenDrive systems can be quickly refueled in just minutes, eliminating the need to change, store, charge and maintain multiple lead acid batteries for each lift.

Air Products has unique experience in the hydrogen fueling industry. These varied fueling applications provide an opportunity to assess consumer experiences, evaluate product performance and advance product improvements. In fact, in certain market applications, fueling rates at several individual sites of over 15,000 refills per year are occurring. The company has placed over 130 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 19 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with trend-setting technologies that involve Air Products’ know-how, equipment and hydrogen. Use of the company’s technology is increasing and is currently over 350,000 hydrogen fills per year.

Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Air Products has an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and HCNG (hydrogen/compressed natural gas) fueling, and has developed a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.