Olin Corporation, a leading vertically integrated chlor alkali producer and marketer, and Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions, intend to create a joint venture (JV) to produce and market green hydrogen to support growing fuel cell demand in the global hydrogen economy.
The JV is the first of its kind and will provide reliability of supply and speed to market for green hydrogen throughout North America, setting the foundation for broader collaboration between the two companies. The first production plant in St. Gabriel, Louisiana will produce 15 tons per day (tpd) of green hydrogen.
This partnership brings together Olin, North America’s largest producer of electrolytic hydrogen, with Plug Power, which is building an end-to-end global green hydrogen ecosystem. Under the JV, Plug Power will market the hydrogen and provide logistical support for delivery while Olin will provide reliable hydrogen production and operational support.
Olin’s 130-year history of producing hydrogen as part of our chlor alkali production process combined with Plug Power’s leadership in the green hydrogen economy creates a powerful partnership to serve the growing demand for green hydrogen. This JV is a key step for Olin as we seek to recognize the full potential of Olin’s untapped hydrogen supply capabilities across North America.—,” noted Scott Sutton, Chairman, President, and CEO of Olin. “
Hydrogen produced as a byproduct from chlor-alkali plants is typically combusted for process heat on site, vented to the atmosphere (i.e., wasted), or sold to the external merchant hydrogen market.
A 2018 study by a team from Argonne National Laboratory (Lee et al.) evaluated well-to-gate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with by-product hydrogen from chlor-alkali processes in comparison with hydrogen from the conventional centralized natural gas steam methane reforming (central SMR) pathway.
They estimated that by-product hydrogen production from chlor-alkali processes creates 1.3–9.8 kg CO2e/kg H2 of life-cycle GHG emissions on average—20–90% less than the conventional central SMR pathway. The results vary with co-product treatment scenarios, regional electric grid characteristics, on-site power generation, product prices, and hydrogen yield.
Despite the variations in the results, it was concluded that the life-cycle GHG emission reduction benefits of using by-product hydrogen from chlor-alkali processes are robust.—Lee et al.
Lee et al.
Plug Power has been investing heavily in green hydrogen production. This JV activity will expand Plug Power’s existing work to build a first-of-a-kind green hydrogen generation network in North America to help customers achieve their sustainability goals of net-zero carbon emissions. Plug Power is targeting 70 tpd by the end of this year and is on track to deliver 500 tpd of green hydrogen production by 2025 and 1,000 tpd by 2028.
The joint venture is expected to be operational in 2023.
Dong-Yeon Lee, Amgad Elgowainy, Qiang Dai (2018) “Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of hydrogen fuel production from chlor-alkali processes in the United States,” Applied Energy, Volume 217, Pages 467-479 doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.02.132