Japanese companies Eneos and Chiyoda intend to build a plant that will produce hydrogen without carbon dioxide emissions and at just one third of the current cost of hydrogen production. This is expected to be a breakthrough in the country’s quest for decarbonization.
The plant will use a patented electrolysis technology that will significantly reduce the required investment. The goal of the enterprise is to reduce the price of hydrogen to about $ 3 per kilogram. Eneos and Chiyoda are considering Australia and other regions as candidates for a plant in 2030.
Hydrogen, which can drive cars and turbines in power plants without generating CO2, is vital for decarbonisation, but production costs remain high. Currently, hydrogen on the Japanese market costs about $ 10 per kilogram. The government aims to bring that figure down to $ 3 by 2030, and over time to $ 2.
The method developed by Eneos and Chiyoda enables the electrolysis of water and toluene simultaneously, rather than through separate processes, to form methylcyclohexane (C7Hfourteen). This simplification of the process cuts equipment investment in half.
Liquid C7Hfourteen will be supplied at ambient temperature to power plants and other facilities where hydrogen will be produced from it for energy. This is much more cost effective than delivering hydrogen, which must be transported at -253 ° C in a special container.
The partners already have the technology to produce a limited amount of C7Hfourteenand they will now work to increase the power by using larger electrodes. They expect to develop a 500 kW unit by fiscal 2025.
The electricity required for electrolysis is planned to be obtained from renewable sources. In particular, Australia supplies such energy at a low cost. It takes about 1 km to install electrolysis equipment and storage tank2… Together with the solar power plant needed as a source of electricity, production will take 64 km2…
The Japanese government has set a goal to use up to 3 million tons of hydrogen as an energy source by 2030. It is planned that from this amount “green” hydrogen will be 420,000 tons. It is estimated that the Eneos and Chiyoda plant will be able to produce 300,000 tons of hydrogen per year. In terms of energy value, this roughly corresponds to a nuclear reactor.
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