Oct 7 2008
Air Products has been part of many hydrogen fueling station dedication ceremonies around the world, but today’s event held at its headquarters campus was a special one. In front of an enthusiastic crowd of employees, elected officials, invited guests and media, Air Products, the leader in hydrogen fueling and infrastructure development, officially commissioned its new hydrogen fueling station and two hydrogen-powered buses as part of a Hydrogen Education Initiative.
The Hydrogen Education Initiative, funded largely by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will be managed by the Da Vinci Science Center of Allentown, Pa. The program is to promote energy independence, a cleaner environment, and educate the public on the benefits of, and advancements in, developing a hydrogen economy. The FTA will use hydrogen research data gathered during the demonstration project to help guide future efforts across the nation.
“We greatly appreciate the work of the Da Vinci Science Center in seeking the funding for the fueling station and the two hydrogen-powered buses as integral parts of this research and education program. The opportunity to get hydrogen-powered transportation vehicles out into any community will go a long way in educating the public about hydrogen and its capabilities,” said John McGlade, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Air Products.
“There is a clear need to develop economic, safe, and environmentally-friendly transportation fuels and to promote their use,” said Dr. Robert A. Fox, associate director and director of education for the Da Vinci Science Center. “The Da Vinci Science Center is proud to assume a leading role in this vital national dialogue.” Fox cited a National Research Council and the National Academy of Engineering report recommending the federal government develop and introduce safe and clean fueling systems that use hydrogen as a way to reduce American dependence on traditional energy sources and combat global climate change. An FTA objective is to identify potential barriers to adoption of these technologies—such as a lack of public awareness about them.
In addition to the hydrogen fueling station at Air Products and the hydrogen-powered buses, to be based at Air Products and the nearby campus of Lehigh Valley Hospital, the Da Vinci Science Center will be producing a learning program to educate people about hydrogen’s safe, clean, and effective use as a transportation fuel. “We are excited about contributing to Da Vinci’s program and joining Lehigh Valley Hospital in using these buses in the greater Lehigh Valley at community and special events as part of the educational outreach program. We believe there will be a strong level of interest from the community,” said David J. Taylor, vice president–Energy Businesses at Air Products.
Dr. Elliot Sussman, president and chief executive officer, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, said the hydrogen-powered bus is another step in the health network’s continuing efforts to protect the environment. “We take the footprint we leave on the Earth very seriously,” Sussman said. “That’s why we’re taking steps to tread lightly on the environment; steps which include the construction at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest becoming the first hospital in the northeast region of the country to achieve LEED certification for ‘green’ buildings, and a new recycling initiative at all three of our hospital campuses. The hydrogen-powered bus is yet another way for us to do our part in protecting our environment while educating thousands of people each day about the benefits of hydrogen, a fuel of the future.”