Four Japanese companies have launched the Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development (AHEAD) initiative, along with the world’s first Global Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project. Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha are participating in the effort funded by the National Research and Development Agency and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

The project entails building a hydrogenation plant in Brunei Darussalam and a dehydrogenation plant in The Kawasaki dehydrogenation plant. Image credit: Mitsui & Co., Ltd.The Kawasaki dehydrogenation plant. Image credit: Mitsui & Co., Ltd.Kawasaki’s coastal region of Japan using Chiyoda’s SPERA Hydrogen Technology, which is based on the organic chemical hydride method. Hydrogen chemically fixed to toluene is converted into methylcyclohexane (MCH), a liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, by hydrogenation for storage and transport. In the consumer country, hydrogen is extracted from MCH by dehydrogenation and supplied as hydrogen gas.

The project partners plan to supply 210 tons (max) of hydrogen in 2020, equivalent to filling 40,000 fuel cell vehicles. Hydrogen is to be produced by steam reforming from the processed gas derived from the natural gas liquefaction plant operated by Brunei LNG Sdn. Bhd., and used for carbon dioxide emissions-free power generation in Japan.

The program reflects Phase II of the “Strategic Road Map for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells” policy issued by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It is designed to realize global hydrogen transport and supply technology for full-scale hydrogen power generation around 2030.

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