The industrial use of hydrogen is not as new as current reporting may suggest - its beginnings go back almost 100 years. The element has the lowest atomic mass in the periodic table and is now seen as a beacon of hope and an important building block on the road to climate neutrality.
Hydrogen appears to be omnipresent, but its processing and control are challenging. That applies to its storage, transport and processing. The energy change means that there is more hydrogen, not only in industrial plants, but also in residential districts and in transport systems. The electricity for the green production of hydrogen is generated by biomass power plants, wind power plants and solar plants, which we are of course also happy to control.
The control valves must be able to cope with the medium. Hydrogen has very small molecules that can penetrate the structure of steel. This can cause brittleness and cracks. In addition, the element is highly explosive and quickly flammable.
For ARCA, hydrogen is an old acquaintance because we have been reliably controlling this gas for many years. With the continuous further development of our control valves and actuators, we are the technology leader in this segment today. Operators and plant manufacturers appreciate the high availability and long service life of the ARCA control valves.
With our knowledge, we are ready for the future with hydrogen.
Control valves for pressure swing adsorption (PSA)
ARCA supplies efficient control technology for the pressure swing adsorption process, or PSA for short, where hydrogen is reclaimed from raw gas. Degrees of purity of up to 99.9999% are possible. The process is characterized by frequent actuating cycles of the control valves, as the gas is passed from one absorber to the next and returned. A tight closure of the control valves in both flow directions is crucial for the purity of the gas. The patented ARCA soft seal has impressively proven its reliability with more than 1 million operating cycles.
Hydrogen in Power-to-X applications (P2X)
Power-to-X applications (P2X for short), which produce hydrogen using green or surplus electricity, generate ammonia, methane, diesel, ethylene or methanol among others in the subsequent processes, which in turn need to be regulated.
Our group member WEKA AG in Switzerland, manufacturer of cryocomponents, sets standards in cryogenic technology. Safe and reliable operation under extreme conditions – temperatures down to -253 °C and pressures up to 1000 bar and the liquefaction of gaseous hydrogen, its storage and transport or the supply of fuel in space travel – is the daily business of the Swiss specialists.