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Germany: Transformation of Wind Energy Into Hydrogen

Asahi Kasei Starts Hydrogen Demonstration Plant

| Editor: Alexander Stark

Dr. Masami Takenaka, Managing Executive Clean Energy Team, Asahi Kasei Europe, at the inauguration ceremony of the hydrogen demonstration project.
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Dr. Masami Takenaka, Managing Executive Clean Energy Team, Asahi Kasei Europe, at the inauguration ceremony of the hydrogen demonstration project. (Source: Asahi Kasei)

Asahi Kasei Europe started a demonstration project for the production of green hydrogen at the Hydrogen Competence Center h2herten in Herten, Germany. The project will transform simulated electric power from wind energy into hydrogen.

Düsseldorf/Germany — The Japanese company announced that it plans to intensify its activities in the field of hydrogen production in Europe. Based on its chlor-alkali electrolysis technology, the company developed an alkaline-water electrolysis system which is suitable for use with fluctuating power input such as from renewable energy sources. The system offers scalability up to 10 MW, allowing the customer to produce a large quantity of hydrogen with a single unit.

As a part of this strategy, the group’s European operational headquarters, started a demonstration project to produce hydrogen from simulated wind energy in the Hydrogen City of Herten in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The joint project together with the Hydrogen Competence Center h2herten will contribute to the development of an electrolysis system to produce green hydrogen on a large scale. From the beginning, the project has been supported by NRW.Invest, the Economic Development Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia and its Japanese subsidiary, the NRW Japan K.K., and the Energy Agency NRW.

According to Hideki Tsutsumi, Managing Director of Asahi Kasei Europe, the energy industry in Europe is changing dramatically, with rising demand for new storage technologies and production systems for clean energy. He argued that the alkaline-water electrolysis system offered by his company was a fitting solution for these challenges.

Strengthening the Cooperation with European Partners

Hydrogen is a focus of increasing interest in recent years, not only in the field of energy storage (Power-to-Gas) but also as an important component of alternative fuels for automobiles (Power-to-Fuel). Europe in general and Germany in particular, with its ambitious goals for CO2 reduction, its drop-out of nuclear energy by 2022 and its high share of electric power supply from fluctuating renewable energy sources, have a high need for reliable power storage technologies.

The group has already succeeded in a long-term demonstration project on hydrogen production in Japan. The alkaline-water electrolysis demonstration project in Herten is the company’s second project in Europe aiming to develop an electrolysis system for the production of green hydrogen using electric power from renewable energy sources.

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On November 14th 2017, Asahi Kasei Europe announced its participation in the three-year multi-partner Align-CCUS project to help transform six European industrial regions into economically robust, low-carbon centres by 2025. Asahi Kasei’s alkaline-water electrolysis system will be one of the cornerstones for CO2 reuse and reduced CO2 emissions. Asahi Kasei Europe is a member of Work Package 4 of the Align-CCUS Project together with European partner companies and institutions. Work Package 4 focuses on the design, construction and operation a first-of-a-kind, full-chain CO2 capture and conversion project in an industrial environment.

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