Fukushima hydrogen energy research field receives new Asahi Kasei tech

The new technology has been installed into the “world’s largest” plant of its sort in the Japanese prefecture.

A hydrogen energy plant in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan has received new technology from Asahi Kasei and subsidiary Asahi Kasei Engineering.

The plant was first completed last month and can produce up to 1,200 Nm3 of hydrogen per hour.

The Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R) was first planned two years ago and became operational last month. It now produces 1,200 Nm3 per hour of the fuel using renewable energy. The H2 produced at this plant will be used for powering stationary fuel cell systems as well as fuel cell vehicles such as buses and cars.

Toshiba Energy Systems Corporation and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) ordered the Ashai Kasei Engineering 10 MW large alkaline water electrolysis system for the plant.

The hydrogen energy plant will produce fuel for both vehicles and stationary fuel cell systems.

“This water electrolysis system is one of the largest in the world as a stack size and can produce and supply 1,200Nm3 of hydrogen (at rated operation) per hour,” explained an Ashai Kasei statement.

The water electrolysis system was first launched in November 2019. It was the outcome of having done several forms of testing. This made it possible for Ashai Kasei to confirm that the quality of the H2 produced using its technology would meet with the levels required by the plant.

The supply of the renewable fuel source began in March. Following an evaluation of the response characteristics to input power fluctuations aligning with the hydrogen supply, Ashai Kasei said it plans to bring operations up to full-scale levels this summer with the new equipment at the heart of FH2R’s production.

Hydrogen energy is becoming an increasingly important form of green power in Japan and while it will likely need to import a substantial amount of this fuel, it does hope to have its hydrogen energy - power stationown domestic supply as well. This will help to supplement the domestic needs and reduce the requirement to depend as heavily on international sources of the renewable fuel.

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