Idemitsu Kosan, one of Japan’s leading producers and suppliers of energy, has launched a feasibility study of clean hydrogen production in Japan generated from waste, including municipal waste. The goal is to launch a first hydrogen production facility around 2030 capable of processing 200-300 tons of waste per day.
The study is conducted in collaboration with California-based H-Cycle, which has developed a thermal conversion process using heat and electricity to transform waste into hydrogen with minimal emissions.
HC is an investee of the Azimuth V Energy Evolution Fund, an investment fund launched by Alberta-based Azimuth Capital Management specializing in technology-enabled energy transition opportunities. Idemitsu has committed to invest in the fund in November 2021.
The hydrogen production now being considered by Idemitsu and HC will use waste discharged in Japan, including municipal waste, as raw material. The system converts these waste products into high value-added clean hydrogen using an integrated gasification and plasma polishing process for which HC holds exclusive rights to deploy in Japan.
By installing this integrated gasification and plasma polishing process as a waste treatment facility in each region to produce hydrogen, it is possible to reduce transportation costs and develop supply bases for hydrogen that is locally produced and consumed.
The clean hydrogen produced is expected to be used not only for industrial and mobility applications, such as fuel cell vehicles, but also as raw material for synthetic fuels.
Aiming to construct an initial hydrogen production facility around 2030 that will process 200–300 tons of waste per day, Idemitsu will going forward seek the cooperation of local governments and determine partner companies for equipment operation and maintenance.