Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction partners with RevoTech on production of hydrogen from waste plastic
Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction has embarked on the development of technology for producing hydrogen using waste plastic and vinyl. The company has signed a business partnership MOU with RevoTech, a company that specializes in the continuous pyrolysis of waste plastic.
RevoTech will be applying its continuous pyrolysis technology to convert waste plastic into gas, while Doosan will be developing the main equipment and processes for reforming the product gas into hydrogen. The continuous pyrolysis technology is achieved through the continuous input of raw materials which in turn enables continuous production, leading to greater ease in expanding the scale of processing and securing economic feasibility.
The pyrolysis of waste plastic refers to the thermal degradation of plastic, which involves high molecular weight hydrocarbons being broken down into smaller molecules at high temperatures to produce valuable byproducts in the forms of gas or liquid.
Doosan is working on developing a hydrogen reformer that has the capacity to produce 0.3 tons of hydrogen per day by 2021 and plans to have this installed for operation at RevoTech, which is located in Mungyeong of North Gyeongsang Province. A demonstration will be carried out thereafter, before commercially launching the technology for producing more than 3 tons of hydrogen per day from waste plastic.
We see more than eight million tons of waste plastic being generated in Korea every year, but we will now be able to apply this technology to the four million tons of waste plastic that usually go into landfills, incinerators or are used as solid refuse fuel (SRF). The hydrogenation of waste plastic contributes to resource circulation and carbon neutrality, and the hydrogen produced can be used for fuel cells and hydrogen gas turbines, among other things.—Doosan Heavy CSO Yongjin Song
Doosan Heavy, which has been focused on building up its eco-friendly energy business, is widening its reach to include the hydrogen business. The plan is to acquire the technology and track record for producing clean hydrogen, such as blue and green hydrogen, successfully develop a hydrogen gas turbine and build up the company’s hydrogen-related equipment business, all of which will be pursued to solidify Doosan’s position as market leader in the hydrogen business.
With the target year set as 2022, Doosan has been working on constructing a hydrogen liquefaction plant within the complex of its Changwon plant, which will be used to produce blue hydrogen for future supply and utilization. Blue hydrogen is a low carbon-emitting hydrogen that is produced by capturing and storing the carbon emissions generated during the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels. Doosan will be applying the high-efficiency CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage) technology to produce blue hydrogen.
The production of green hydrogen using wind power is also well underway on Jeju island. The option of applying small modular reactors (SMRs) to produce clean hydrogen is also being reviewed. Given that renewable energy, such as solar and wind energy, and nuclear power, are all sources that emit zero carbon emissions, they are receiving attention both in Korea and abroad as viable energy sources for achieving clean hydrogen production.
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, the fifth company in the world to have successfully developed an industrial gas turbine for power generation, is now working on the development of a hydrogen gas turbine for power generation as part of its business expansion efforts. Hydrogen gas turbines use either hydrogen or a hydrogen-natural gas mixture as fuel. Since May of last year, Doosan has been working on developing a 100% hydrogen-fueled gas turbine combustor for a 5MW hydrogen gas turbine model with its own technology, and has also been partnering with the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) to develop a hydrogen dual-fuel combustor for a 300MW hydrogen gas turbine.
Doosan Mecatec, a subsidiary of Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, is also venturing into the hydrogen business. In 2019, Doosan Mecatec invested in the shares of ReCarbon, a company that owns the technology for recycling greenhouse gases emitted from landfills, power plants and petrochemical plants to create hydrogen. To expedite its efforts in this area, the HPE (Hydrogen Process Equipment) business was newly established at Doosan Mecatec early this year to handle all the carbon recycling and hydrogen related projects. Doosan Mecatec was also a part of the Dangjin Thermal Power Plant Carbon Recycling Project, a state project led by the Ministry of Science and ICT, which culminated in the recent development of the soon-to-be supplied gas separator & feeder.
In addition, in response to growing expectations for expansion of the hydrogen business, Doosan has completed development of a hydrogen storage tank to be used for hydrogen refueling and is preparing for its commercial launch.
The South Korean government’s Hydrogen Economy Roadmap outlines the goal of acquiring 8GW-scale hydrogen power generation facilities by 2040 and forecasts that the demand for hydrogen will rise from approximately 1.94 million tons in 2030 to 5.26 million tons by 2040.
While the demand for grey hydrogen, which is created using fossil fuel, is expected to drop from 50% in 2030 to 30% by 2040, the demand for clean hydrogen is expected to steadily rise from approximately 900 thousand tons in 2030 to 3.6 million tons by 2040.