Fukushima launching power-to-gas hydrogen project with MCH as hydrogen carrier; supply center by 2016
Fukushima and the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute (FREA) have launched a power-to-has project with a view to making the prefecture a hydrogen supply center by as early as 2016, according to a report in The Japan Times, via Fukushima Minpo. The project will test and refine a model of hydrogen-supply infrastructure, which would then be used in creating a functioning supply center.
The project is a collaboration between the prefecture and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the parent of FREA. AIST established FREA in April 2014 to promote R&D into renewable energy. FREA has two basic missions: the promotion of R&D into renewable energy, which is open to the world; and making a contribution to industrial clusters and reconstruction.
In 2013, with financial support from Fukushima prefecture, AIST started researching technologies to handle hydrogen in liquid form under ambient temperature and pressure by combining it with toluene (C6H5CH3) to create methylcyclohexane (MCH: C6H11CH3), which serves as a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC). MCH has 6.1 wt% of gravimetric hydrogen content and 47% of volumetric content theoretically. (Earlier post.)
|Source: FREA. Click to enlarge.|
(In June 2013, Japan-based Chiyoda Corporation announced that a demonstration plant located in its Koyasu Office and Research Park successfully achieved expected performance using a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology.)
MCH can be transported with a chemical tanker the as same as toluene. On the demand site, hydrogen is generated from MCH by a dehydrogenation reaction, and toluene is recovered for the recycle use.
AIST has developed a generator that can extract hydrogen from the MHC and obtain heat and power from it. The power is then delivered to public facilities.
AIST, which is focusing on establishing viable technologies for the mass storage and transportation of hydrogen, is using the prefecture as the testing ground, according to the report. After initial deployment, the participants plan to expand the project sites to include municipalities in the prefecture that are still undergoing reconstruction following the nuclear disaster.
The Fukushima government has set a goal of having the prefecture’s entire energy needs covered by renewables by 2040 or so.