Praxair opens new hydrogen capture project at Dow’s Freeport campus

Industrial gas giant Praxair said Tuesday it completed its plant to capture emissions from Dow Chemical’s massive Freeport campus and convert the byproduct into high-purity hydrogen used to make chemicals and plastics.

Praxair, headquartered in Freeport, has launched operations at its new hydrogen recovery and processing plant in Freeport, and it’ll eventually link up in June at the earliest with Dow’s nearly-completed, massive ethane cracker to manufacture 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene, which is the primary building of most plastics. The Praxair plant would prevent 300,000 tons a year of carbon emissions from the new cracker.

Michigan-based Dow President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Fitterling and Praxair CEO Steve Angel visited the Freeport site Tuesday to see Praxair’s $400 million Freeport investment.

“You can do things good for the society as you grow,” Fitterling said. “We take our (carbon) footprint down and make our impact on the communities less.”

Dow is in the final stages of a more than $6 billion expansion along the Gulf Coast, mostly in Freeport and Lake Jackson, to add more ethylene, polyethylene, propylene and plastics manufacturing.

Praxair, meanwhile, is investing about $1 billion along the Texas Gulf Coast through 2019, including new hydrogen and nitrogen pipelines connecting Freeport to Texas City, where existing infrastructure treks to chemical plants in Texas and Louisiana, Angel said. The hydrogen plant and additional nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide infrastructure represent more than a $400 million investment in Freeport.

“Texas could easily end up being our second-biggest revenue region globally,” Angel said.