Japanese duo eyes hydrogen purification system from ammonia cracking gas

Japanese players Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and NGK INSULATORS have entered a partnership to jointly develop a hydrogen purification system that uses membrane separation to purify from hydrogen-nitrogen mixture gas after ammonia cracking.

Courtesy of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)

The companies expect the technology to contribute to the establishment of a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain enabling high-volume transport, MHI noted, adding that both parties are committed to driving the development forward, aiming to achieve early commercialization.

MHI said the company will contribute its expertise in delivering ammonia and other chemical plants as well as its technologies for handling ammonia and hydrogen to the project, while NGK will contribute its knowledge of subnano ceramic membrane technology and film deposition technology developed in the fields of chemical processes and water purification.

“Ammonia is garnering attention today as a hydrogen carrier that enables safe transport and storage of hydrogen, a fuel that emits no CO2 when combusted, in large volumes over great distances. Plans to establish supply chains are underway worldwide, notably in Europe, while in Japan a ‘Fuel Ammonia Supply Chain Establishment’ project is in progress. This market is expected to grow in the years ahead,” MHI observed.

MHI, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, claimed the company will strive for the early establishment and execution of decarbonization technologies as a way of contributing to the realization of a sustainable carbon-neutral world.

As for the NGK, the company has formulated a Carbon Neutrality Strategic Roadmap, consisting of four strategies to contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral society and promoting the development and provision of hydrogen and carbon dioxide capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) related technologies and products.

To remind, in 2024, MHI’s CO2 capture technology was selected for a low-carbon hydrogen plant in the HyNet carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) cluster. Specifically, the company signed a license agreement with U.S. company KBR to provide CO2 capture technology for a low-carbon Hydrogen Production Plant 2 (HPP2) being established in Cheshire in northwest England. The HPP2 is expected to have an annual hydrogen production capacity of nearly 230,000 tons and is described as a key pillar of the HyNet cluster.

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