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First hydrogen supply chain demonstration project using MCH to transport H2 starts

The Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD) has started the world’s first international demonstration operation to transport hydrogen using methylcyclohexane. (Earlier post.)

This project is subsidized by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and will conduct a demonstration operation for the construction of an international hydrogen supply chain.


Outline of demonstration operation

In the supply country, hydrogen, chemically fixed to toluene, is converted by a hydrogenation reaction into methylcyclohexane (MCH), a liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, for storage and transport. In the consumer country, hydrogen is extracted from MCH by a dehydrogenation reaction and supplied as hydrogen gas.

Methylcyclohexane (MCH) produced in Brunei Darussalam has already been transported to Japan by ship, separated into hydrogen and toluene at a dehydrogenation plant located on the Kawasaki city waterfront, and the hydrogen has been supplied to a gas turbine at the Mizue power station owned by Toa Oil Co. Ltd.

At this time, the process of transporting back the toluene separated by dehydrogenation from Japan to Brunei Darussalam and binding the toluene again with hydrogen has started. This would complete the hydrogen supply chain and would be the beginning of circular stable operation.



The obvious question for maritime hydrogen use is why not extract some of the cargo hydrogen loaded on the methylcyclohexane transport ships and pipe it into fuel cells -- to make electricity that can propel the ships to their destination.

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